Skip to main content

Full text of "Collections of the Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society"

See other formats

m. l. 









3 1833 01188 6360 




v . 




3?xxMisTtca hxs tlxc Society. 





! p Berkshire historical and scientific society, Pitts field, 

\ 64407 'Mass. 

j .11 Collections of the Berkshire historical and scientific 

society. Pub. by the Society. [V. lj- o. 
J ' ( [Pittsfielclj 1SS0-1913. 

-j r // y «- v. illns., port. 22} cm . 

. * £ Four numbers to a volume. 

]/)'' \ Title varies: 1886, Four papers of the Berkshire historical and scientific 

■ ,-. j • society. 

CHafCitfL 1SS9-90, Book of Berkshire^ Papers by its historical and scientific so- 
i ciety. — ^^^ 

1801, Berkshire book. Papers by its historical and scientific society. 

"C 1888-91 issued also in a bound volume, with index, under title "Berk- 
{ Lshire book. v. 1." J? 84407.1 

' 1. Berkshire Co., "" /""N ~^ ass - — Hist. — Societies. 

\jj 10-229201 


Library of Congress ~ F72.B5B6 






Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 

Officers of the Berkshire Historical and 
Scientific Society. 

Presidents — Alex. Hyde, 1878-79. 

Joseph White, 1880-82. 

A. L. Perry, 1883-86. 
Vice Presidents — JOSEPH WHITE, 1878-79. 

James M. Barker, 1878-79. 

T. P. Pingree, 18S0-S2. 

Chas. J. Taylor, 1880. 

A. L. Perry, 1881-S2. 

H. W. Taft, 1883. 

E. W. B. Canning, 1883-86. 

Henry Colt, 1S84-86. 
Secretary and Treasurer — E. G. Huhbel, 1878 — 86. 


H. W. Taft, 187S-82. 
W. R. Plunkett, 187S. 
Charles J. Taylor, 187S-80. 
J. F. A. Adams, 1879-S0. 
Rev. J. L. Jenkins, 1881-82. 
D. E. Thayer, 18S1-86. 
Rkv. A. B. Whipple, 1883-S6. 
James M. Barker, 1883-86. 


ARTICLE i. The name of the Society shall be the Berkshire Historical 
and Scientific Society. It shall be located at Pittsfield. Its active members 
shall be residents of Berkshire county. Honorary and corresponding mem- 
bers may be chosen without regard to said limit. 

Article 2. The object of the Society shall be the collection and preser- 
vation of facts, documents, and traditions, relating to the History of the 
county of Berkshire, and of the towns therein, and the acts and lives of its 
citizens ; the collection of portraits, pictures, books, relics, charts, maps, 
antiquities, and curiosities in connection therewith ; the discussion of all 
matters pertaining to the same, and the publication of papers and docu- 
ments relating thereto. 

The Society may, by subordinate organizations, by sections, chapters and 
committees, pursue any branch of science, and provide for collections illus- 
trating the same. 

ARTICLE 3. New members may be elected at any quarterly or annual 
meeting, on the nomination and recommendation of any member ; and 
shall be constituted a member by signing the Articles of Association and 
paying one dollar. 

Honorary and corresponding members may be chosen at any regular 

No debt shall be contracted by the Society, or by any officer, committee 
or member thereof, in the name or on account of the Society. 

No taxes, dues or assessments except the one dollar admission fee, shall 
be demanded or exacted of the members. The necessary expenses shall be 
met and paid by voluntary contributions. 

A statement of the resources and wants of the Society, may be made at 
any regular meeting. 

Article 4. There shall be a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, 
Custodian and Librarian, and an Executive Committee, and such other 
committees of the Society as may be found expedient. 

The above officers shall hold for one year, and until their successors are 
chosen. They shall receive no compensation for official services. 

The Secretary shall perform the duties of Treasurer. 

The Librarian and Curator of the Berkshire Athemeum shall be ex-officio 
the librarian and custodian of the Society, and shall have, under the direc- 
tion of the Executive Committee, charge over its Library and Museum. 

The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice-Presidents 
and Secretary and three other members of the Society. 

vi Constitution. 

ARTICLE 5. There shall be one essay, at least, at each quarterly meeting, 
and at such meeting the President shall announce the subject of the essay 
or essays for the next quarterly meeting, and the person or persons who will 
read them. 

The President shall select and engage the essayists ; discussion may fol- 
low the reading. Any member may propose in writing, to he entered on a 
list by the Secretary, topics for discussion. 

Article 6. The annual meeting of the Society shall be held on the last 
Wednesday of May in each year, at eleven o'clock, a. m., for the choice of 
officers and committees. The retiring President shall present a statement 
of the last years' work and the condition of the Association, and give an 
address on some topic connected with the objects of the Society. 

A quarterly meeting shall be held on the last Wednesday of August, 
November and February, at eleven o'clock, a. m., for the reading of essays 
and papers, and for discussions. 

Field meetings may be held at any time and place under the auspices of 
the Society, and with the approval of the Executive Committee. 

Article 7. Reports of officers, committees and members, to the Society, 
shall be in writing; and all such reports, together with business communica- 
tions, essays and papers, shall be delivered to the Secretary, which, with the 
minutes of the Secretary, shall constitute the transactions of the Society, 
and shall be arranged and preserved in a proper manner. 

The author of any essay, report or communication, may take a copy of 
the same. 

The Executive Committee shall prescribe the mode of notifying the various 

The quarterly meetings shall be public; but no person not a member shall 
address the meeting or take part in its proceedings, except by invitation 
of the presiding officer. 

Article S. Whenever this Society shall cease to exist, the Trustees ot 
the Berkshire Athenaeum shall be its successor, and shall take and hold to 
themselves, their successors and assigns, in trust, all its records, rights, 
property and estate, on the condition, however, that the same shall be kept 
as a separate collection devoted to the public use. 

ARTICLE 9. This Society, by. its officers or committees, may arrange 
with the Trustees of the Berkshire Athemeum for headquarters and a home 
for the Society in the Athenaeum building, on any terms not Inconsistent 
with these Articles of Association. 

Article 10. These Articles may be altered, modified or amended by a 
two-thirds vote at any regular meeting of the Society, provided fifteen mem- 
bers are present; the proposed alteration, modification or amendment having 
been submitted in writing at a previous regular meeting. 


The Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society makes herewith its first 
formal bow to the public. For nearly ten years it has been busy in a quiet 
way endeavoring to fulfil the duties with which it deems itself charged. 
Now at length it hopefully presents to its constituents in published form the 
first fruits of its labors. These four Papers represent about one-sixth of the 
similar work already accomplished by the Society, and will be followed at 
intervals of a year or two by similar pamphlets embodying the results of 
original investigations, both historical and scientific, already made and still 
to be made, by members of the Society. It is the purpose to have these 
successive pamphlets bound into a volume or volumes in permanent form, 
as presenting to the world the Society's permanent Transactions, and as 
containing, with doubtless some other material, the History and Science of 
Berkshire County. 

It may surprise some who happen to know how prominent the science of 
Geology was in the College of the County, and how distinguished its Pro- 
fessors were in the first half of the century, to notice that the Society was 
obliged to go into a neighboring State to secure the invaluable paper on 
Berkshire Geology, with which the pamphlet opens. This local confession 
of present weakness, however, is more than compensated for by the su- 
preme excellence of the paper itself ; and the Society hereby publicly ex- 
presses at once its sense of that excellence and its thankfulness to Professor 

A. L. P. 

Williams Oollkok, Juno 1, 1880. 

Berkshire Geology. 

By Prop. JAMES D. DANA, of Yale College. 


If I have understood your wishes, I am here not to discourse 
on the marvels of geological science, with illustrations from 
Berkshire, not to speak of beauties of scenery, and not of min- 
eral resources, hut to give a simple and plain account of the 
geological structure and history of Berkshire, from my own ob- 
servations. The beauties of Berkshire scenery have afforded me 
half the pleasure of my excursions over and among its hills; 
but you already know about them. Your resources in marble 
and iron are old topics. But when and how, from a geological 
point of view, Berkshire rocks and hills, its marble and ore beds 
were made, is a question that lias not yet been fully answered, 
and 1 propose, in response to your invitation, to give you some 
of the results of my study of these subjects. 

The principal workers in this Held of research who have pre- 
ceded me, are Prof. Amos Eaton, Dr. Chester Dewey, Prof. 
Ebenezer Emmons and Prof. Edward Hitchcock. Three of the 
four were graduates of Williams College : Eaton in 1799, Dewey 
in L80(!, and Emmons in 181.8. 

Prof. Eaton, after examinations, as he says, of the Highlands 
on the Hudson, the Catskill Mountains, the Green Mountains 
and some other points, with old Ivirwan as his text-Look on rocks 
and minerals, put himself, in 1S1(>, under the instruction of 
Prof. Silliman, ot New Haven, and heard two of his courses of 
lectures on mineralogy and geology. In March of the next year, 
the zealous naturalist, now doubly charged with enthusiasm, be- 
gan a course of lectures at Williams College, with specimens 
supplied him by Prof. Silliman, and a collection made by Prof 
Dewey then Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy 
and Lecturer on Chemistry in the College; and "such was the 
zeal," says Mi'. Eaton, "that an uncontrollable enthusiasm for 
Natural History took possession of every mind ; and other de- 


4 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

partments of learning were for a time, crowded ant of college. 
The college authorities allowed twelve students each, day (72 

per week) to devote their whole time to the collection of miner- 
als, plants, etc., in lieu of all other exercises.' 1 

Mr. Eaton while there, gathered specimens of rocks from all 
directions, through his students. lie also made two tours from 
Boston across Massachusetts; and by 1S!2<> he had examined the 
rocks along several sections between Massachusetts and the Hud- 
son, besides making various excursions elsewhere — ^,<mhi miles 
of which, lie says, were made on foot. 

In 1817 Prof. Eaton left Williamstown for Albany, leaving 
the special geological study of the region in Dr. Dewey's hands, 
and three years later he acknowledges (in his Index to the Cac- 
ology of the United States, 1820,) "The assistance for two or 
three years of that very able and accurate naturalist, Prof. Dew- 
ey of Williams College,'' 1 and shows his appreciation of the 
knotty character of the region by the additional remark: "lie 
resides at the very central spot of the most complicated difficul- 
ties, and never suffers any interesting fact to escape his notice." 

In 1819 Dr. Dewey was ready with results, and published in 
the first volume of the American Journal of Science, a geologi- 
cal description of the Williamstown portion of the Taconic re- 
gion, In 1S W 2(> he followed this paper with another on a "Geo- 
logical section from the Taconick Range in Williamstown to the 
city of Troy. 11 By the autumn of 1823 he had much widened 
the range of his researches, as shown in the current volume of 
that Journal. On the " Geology of Western Massachusetts and a 
small part of the adjoining States, 1 ' illustrated with a colored 
map embracing all Berkshire, the southern portion of Vermont, 
Canaan and Salisbury of Connecticut and eastern Xew York to 
the Hudson. 

The Wk Taconick Hills" first took their place in Geological lit- 
erature in his paper of 1811), in which he mentions the Indian 
orthography of Taconic, and gave the word its present shape. 
This first geological map of Berkshire* shows the north and south 
direction of the belts of limestone, the Taconic backbone of the 
region, consisting, as he had found, of "mica slate" and "argil- 
lite, 11 the "primitive limestone 11 to the east of Hie Taconic range, 

Berkshire Geology. 5 

tliu " Transition limestone," or less crystal line, to the west; the 
isolated ridges of quartzyte, and areas of mica schist and gneiss 
farther east; the "gray waeke" and slates farther west to the 
Hudson. Tie also observed the general eastward pitch of the 
rocks. Following Eaton lie sought, by the terms " Primitive," 
"Transition," and "Graywaeke," to bring the facts into paral- 
lelism with those of English and European geologists. He says 
in an appendix to this paper in the same volume, " In Fishkill 
I found petrifactions iii siliceous slate associated with argil- 
lite" This very important discovery has not since been veri- 
fied, but probably will be, since Lower Silurian fossils have been 
recently found — to the surprise of our geologists — just north in 
the slate of Poughkeepsie, and many more in the neighboring 
Barnegat or Wappiiiger Valley limestone. 

It deserves mention that Dr. Dewey was enough of a chemist 
to use the science to great advantage in his geological work. \\\ 
means of it he determined rightly the composition of the pre- 
vailing slaty rock of the Taconic range, and set forth his deter- 
minations repeatedly in his published papers. These slates were 
pronounced by Eaton and others Talcose slates, because, like 
talc — a magnesia mineral— they felt greasy. But in ISI'.I he 
said, s J have been able to detect only a very minute quantity of 
magnesia in any specimens [ have tried, but much alumina." 
Thereupon he, with good reason called the rock "very fine 
grained mica shtte." But the other geologists, including Em- 
mons and Hitchcock, did not accept of his determination, and 
the error continued in the science of both America and Europe, 
for forty years and more. Dr. Dewey was a keen-eyed student 
of Nature, and New England geological science lost much by 
his leaving the field after having well passed its threshold. 

Prof. Ebenezer Emmons received his scientitic inspiration 
from Prof. Eaton, whose rousing lectures, at Williams College, 
he heard while in his Junior year. Under its influence he be- 
came one of the most active and faithful geologists of the coun- 
try. He was a pupil in Prof. Eaton's Rensselaer school, which 
was opened in Troy in 1824, and in 18 k J(>, the year of his grad- 
uation published a small "Manual of Mineralogy and Geology," 
for the Rensselaer school. (This manual was my first school 

<> JBer/cs/iire Historical and. Scientific Society. 

book on the sciences while at a High school in [Jtica, between 
tlte years 1827 and 1830, where another Rensselaer school grad- 
uate was onr instructor in Chemistry and Natural History.) 
Like Prof. Dewey he became an instructor in Williams College, 
entering upon his duties there, as a Professor of Natural Histo- 
ry in 1833; and then commenced his geological investigations. 
11a carefully studied the positions and distribution of the rock, 
and distinguished, as had been done by Dewey, an eastern belt 
of limestone, which he called the Stockbridge limestone;, and a 
western belt out-cropping in Petersburgh, Berlin, Lebanon and 
beyond, which he less happily called the " Sparry limestone." 
The intermediate limestone of the Williamstown area, he later 
proved to be nothing but the Stockbridge limestone, and an 
emerged continuation of that of New Ashford, by showing that 
the Adams limestone (or that of the valley of the Iloosic, which 
is a continuation of the Stockbridge limestone) pitched west- 
ward under drey lock and came out again in Williamstown. 
lie observed, also like Dewey, that all these rocks, with gener- 
ally the quartzyte of the region, had, alike an eastward pitch, 
or dip, as if all had been upturned together, and he hence con- 
cluded that they were one in system, lie observed, further, 
that they were destitute of fossils, and he found what he believ- 
ed to be, evidence that the fossiliferous slates of the Hudson 
River valley overlaid unconformably the upturned Taconic 
slates. The conclusion now followed :— that this n< >n-f ossifer- 
ous Taconic series was older than those Hudson river slates; 
older than the oldest known rock of the New York Silurian, 
the Potsdam sandstone; therefore a distinct system of rocks, 
the Taconic system. In the geological series, the system, in his 
opinion, came in between the Adirondack rocks or Archival i, 
and the Potsdam sandstone, the rock directly overlying the Ar- 
chaean in Northern New York. 

Thus the name of the Taconic mountains became of wide im- 
portance in geological science; for geologists abroad, as well as 
at home, received the announcement with great interest. Put 
at the same time geologists inquired whether the claim for the 
pre-Silnrian age of the Taconic system was well sustained. 

Prof. Edward Hitchcock commenced his ideological survey of 

Berkshire Geology. 7 

the state of Massachusetts in L830, and continued it at intervals, 

until tin' close of 1S39, when the Report of his Second Survey — or 
as it might be rightly called, his final report on the one survey 
was ready tor publication, [t appeared in 1*41, in two large 
quarto volumes, a grand monument to the memory of the able 
and excellent author. 

In his first Report (published in 1885) he expressed his obli- 
gations to Prof. Dewey's map and paper, for facts about Berk- 
shire. But liis later study of the 'region enabled him to im- 
prove greatly on Prof. Dewey's ma]) and describe quite fully, 
from his own observations, its rocks, resources and scenery. In 
my conclusions I am almost always in agreement witlt Professor 
Hitchcock. And in his map the general features of Berkshire 
are well presented, though the details, naturally, admit of much 
improvement. Prof. Hitchcock's Report was completed three 
years (and published one year) before the announcement by 
Prof. Emmons of his Taconic system, and hence it has nothing 
on this subject. 

Twenty years later, in 1801, Prof. Hitchcock, with his two 
sons, but chiefly Charles .II. Hitchcock, and Mr. A. D. llager, 
published the results of their geological survey of Vermont; 
and here the Taconic system is directly and indirectly a promi- 
nent topic. The rocks of the system extend continuously from 
Massachusetts half way through Vermont, and all of its divi- 
sions are there well displayed. The Stockbridge limestone ac- 
cording to the Vermont Report, continues uninterruptedly from 
Williamstown northward, and the quartzyte occurs at intervals, 
just as in Massachusetts. Facts bearing on the age of the Ta- 
conic! rocks were hence to be expected ; and the expectation was 
realized. The report states the discovery of fossils in the lime- 
stone : fossil corals, crinoicls, shells of mollusks, and other kinds, 
in the towns of Dauby, Dorset, Whiting, Sudbury, Orwell, 
Cornwall, and also at West Rutland where are the largest mar- 
ble quarries of Vermont, and similar hut additional discoveries 
were later reported by Rev. A. Wing of Vermont. 

This was finding Lower Silurian fossils, some as recent as 
those of the Trenton limestone of New York, in both the east- 
ern and western Taconic limestones. The discovery was seem- 


JterhsJiire Historical and Scientific Society. 

ingly fatal to the Taconic system, Moreover it proved that the 

Grey lock mica schist was younger than the Trenton limestone : 
for Emmons, as I have said, and Hitchcock, have shown that the 
limestone underlies the schist of that mountain. 

Bnt the Taconic controversy was not ended. For it might 
he that Prof. Emmons was wrong in his early conclusion that 
the limestone and Taconic schists were alike in pitch and 
hence one in system ; it might he, it was said, that a great break 
intervenes between the limestone and the schist of the mountain 
range, so that the fossils found have no bearing on the age of 
the schists. Now a mistake of this kind on Prof. Emmons's part 
would have been injurious to his geological reputation, while 
the mistake of making the Taconic rocks older than they are, 
was not to his discredit, since he could not have known what 
discoveries of fossils remained to he made. According to my 
study of the region, his geological reputation stands uninjured, 
for he was right in his observations. 

My own investigation of the Taconic region, was undertaken 
in order to ascertain the facts on the points that were still in 
question.; to decide whether there is, or is not, a break or fault 
between the limestone and the Taconic schists; whether the 
Stockbridge limestone is continuous, or not, from Massachusetts 
to the localities of fossils in Vermont. My study of the rocks 
was commenced in 1871, and has been continued through sev- 
eral of the seasons since ; and the last three seasons, those of 
1882, 1883, 1884, have been especially occupied with the col- 
lection of the details needed for the construction of a geological 
map of the region. 

I now pass to a general review of Berkshire Geology, from 
my own knowledge of the region. 

The prominent topographical feature of Middle and Western 
Berkshire is its intersection in a generally north and south di- 
rection, by tliit bottomed valleys lying deep between, and 
sometimes encircling, high ridges: while eastern Berkshire is 
part of an elevated plateau — the plateau of the Green Moun- 

The most prominent geological feature of the county is the 
existence of crystalline limestone along the bottoms of all these 

Berkshire Geology, 9 

valleys, and of crystalline slates or schists in all the intervening 
or encircled ridges; this topographical feature, as Dr. Emmons 

long since explained, is a consequence of the geological, for the 
depth of the valleys is an expression of the relative rates of er- 
osion or degradation in the two kinds of rocks: the limestone, 
which is a soft rock and also is soluble under the action of ordi- 
nary waters; and the crystalline schists, which are the hard 
rocks. * 

To have correct views of the region, either topographically or 
geologically, it is necessary to drop out of sight all state bound- 
ary lines — those of Vermont, New York and Connecticut. 
Then your border mountains are no longer the barrier moun- 
tains of Berkshire ; but a ridge, like Tom Ball, Lenox moun- 
tain, South mountain and others east of it, between ranges of 
limestone, and the Taconic ridges and limestone valleys are seen 
to continue on with their Berkshire features, northward through 
much of Vermont, and southward into Connecticut and south- 
eastern New York. A general map of the county from north- 
ern .Vermont, southward and southwestward to Pennsylvania, 
having its limestone areas colored, shows to the eye that the 
system in Berkshire rocks is part of the system in the rocks of 
eastern North America; that in early time geological progress 
in rock-making went forward on a continental scale ; and geo- 
logical progress through mountain-making along the Atlantic 
border, later, on a scale almost as wide-reaching. 


1 will first make some explanations as to the rocks of the re- 
gion : 

Eastern Berkshire: Eastern Berkshire, the plateau region, 
is covered generally with the hard well-bedded crystalline rocks, 
called gneiss, and mica schist. By well-bedded I mean lying 
in beds or layers, or having distinct stratification. 

Besides these two rocks, there is in many parts quartz rock 
or quartzyte, a kind of sandstone: it is the material of the 
smooth-faced bowlders over the fields called "hard heads;" the 

*I may here add that this distinction of soft and hard does not generally exist west of 
the western limestone, because the slates there are very soft rocks, although not sol- 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

rock of the top of Monument mountain ; of ledges east <rf Dew- 
ey's, a station on the Ilousatonic railroad ; of ledges and ridge* 

east of the railroad at Cheshire; of Stone Hill and East moun- 
tain in Williamstown ; of the high mountain ridge east of Ben 
nington, and so on. This quartzyte is, as I have said, a sand- 
stone, hut it varies much in composition, and as Professor 
Hitchcock observed fifty years ago, it sometimes graduates into 
mica schist and gneiss. This graduating into gneiss means that 
varieties occur which are like gneiss in that they contain more 
or less feldspar or both feldspar and mica, with the quartz. The 
beautiful hearthstone from the best hearthstone locality of New 
England, situated a mile and a half east of Dewey's station, near 
the western border of the town of Washington, contains black 
points which are minute scales of mica and many grains of 
white feldspar, undistinguishable from the quartz grains, except 
under a microscope. These ingredients are not abundant enough 
to make the rock fusible, like gneiss; but enough to occasion 
that moderate degree of firmness which saves the rock from 
cracking when heated. This quartzyte in Berkshire is most 
common along the ascent of the eastern plateau, but it also oc- 
curs in places over its top, as in the town of Washington, south 
of Ashley lake, the Pittstield reservoir lake which is over four 
miles west from Dewey's station ; and also in the town of Sa- 
voy, a little west of the village, nearly six miles from the Chesh- 
ire station. Much of the quartzyte is very firm and solid ; but 
in some localities as in Cheshire, and less perfectly near Ashley 
lake, it is a loose sand, as loose and pure as the sands of any sea- 
shore, or so soft as to be easily crushed to sand, for these well- 
known localities of line glass sand are localities of the rock 

This looseness of texture, at Cheshire and elsewhere, is, as I 
have found, a result of decay, a result of the loss of one in- 
gredient. The quartzyte at such places contained dissemi- 
nated grains' of feldspar, and the loss of the feldspar through 
infiltrating waters, lias led to its falling to sand. This is 
well shown at the principal quarry two miles south of the 
Cheshire railroad station, for the waters running from the 
quarry deposit kaolin along the bed of the little brook, 



Berkshire Geology. 1 1 

and kaolin occurs in the quarry in scams between quartzyte 
layers, and so penetrates sonic of the thinner quartzyte layers 
that they are of no value for the sand. Kaolin is pure clay, 
the kind used for making porcelain. It is a compound of silica, 
alumina and water; and lias ordinarily been made from the de- 
composition of feldspar. Feldspar affords on analysis si lica; alu- 
mina and potash. Kaolin is made from it by the action of wa- 
ters which have the power (because they contain some carbonic 
acid or some organic acid) of removing the potash and leaving 
water in its place ; hence the action of waters infiltrating through 
the rock containing feldspar makes kaolin out of the feldspar. 
The remarkable deposit of kaolin in southern New- Marlboro, 
has been made, I believe, from the decomposition of the feld- 
spar of a very feldspatic quartzyte, and the washing out of the 
clay so made, and its deposition by running water. The quartz- 
yte of the eastern foot of East mountain contains, (as Prof. Em- 
mons reported,) much feldspar. Prof. Dewey described, in 
1 S2T, a bed of kaolin in Pownal "on the land of Mr. Gypson, 
live or six miles north of Williams College," and attributed its 
origin rightly to the decomposition of feldspar in the quartzyte 
of the region, so that Dr. Dewey has the credit of first explain- 
ing the origin of the Berkshire kaolin beds. 

Besides the common mica schist and gneiss of the eastern 
plateau of Berkshire, there are other rocks which are, like those 
of the Adirondack's, of undoubted Archaean age. One Arcluean 
area is situated about seven miles east of Pittstield, in a cut on 
the railroad, only a few yards north of the Hinsdale depot, 
where; a crystalline limestone intersects a granite-like rock. This 
limestone, unlike that of the rest of Berkshire, contains the yel- 
low Archaean mineral, clirondrodite, and a pink mica-like min- 
eral, which appears to be rhodophyllite, a variety of chlorite of 
the species penninite, besides pyroxene. It is a locality well 
worth exploring, and it is quite probable that the same rock 
may be found in some of the little explored parts of Dalton. 
The long cut just south of the Washington depot, is another 
Arcluean locality, and so also a ridge west of the carriage road, 
less than a mile north of the depot, the rock in the cut is a 

1 2 Berkshire Historical and Scien tific Society. 

hornblendic gneiss, easily decomposable ; and that of the ridge 
referred to, a syenyte containing some minute zircons. 

The high ridge in Stamford, which lias sent boulders of 
"Stamford granite," as the Vermont survey calls it, over Clarks- 
burg, is in all probability, Arcluean ; the granite contains an 
occasional minute zircon. 

The knot of high land between South Lee and Monterey, 
which has occasioned the east and west course of the [Ioiirtatonic 
river, and of carriage roads and railroads, and also an east and 
west range of low land in Monterey, probably contains a knot 
of Arcluean ; I hope to settle this point another season. Thus 
much for the rocks of Eastern Berkshire. 


Over Western BerJcsJtire the ridges consist, for the most part, 
of a tine-grained mica schist, as determined by Dewey ; we call 
it now hydromica schist, because it contains some water; it 
owes to the presence of water the greasy feel, talc-like, which 
so long deceived the geologists, excepting Dr. Dewey. Much 
of it contains a dark green mineral called chlorite, which is 
tho source of its greenish color. Tins is the chief rock of the 
Taconic range. Greylock, which is about seven miles to the 
east of this range, consists, in part, of true mica schist, and the 
same is the fact with the most of Mount Washington, and with 
many of the ridges in Central Berkshire. In Sheffield, west of 
the village, at what is called Bear's Den, the mica schist con- 
tains stanrolite crystals as well as garnets — as first reported by 
Dewey in 1S24- ; and the mica schist of Salisbury, the next town 
south of Sheffield, is generally staurolitic. Over Middle Berk- 
shire quartzyte occurs in strata with the mica schist, and very 
much of the mica schist is half quartzyte or an arenaceous mica 

It has long been recognized that the brow of Monument 
mountain, overlooking the road going south from Stockbridge, 
consisted of , the hard quartzyte. But, on going to the foot of 
the bluff, from the road and climbing the front, it is found that 
for the lower half of the height the rock is mica schist, an are- 

Berkshire Geology. 


naeeous or sandy mica schist. And the road ascending the 

mountain from the south side passes over this mica schist, until 
the steeper and rougher part of the ascent is reached, and there 
the change to quartzyte takes place. Haifa mile farther south, 
the road from Stock bridge to Great Harrington is bordered on 
both sides by quartzyte. The rock of the west side of Monu- 
ment mountain, facing the river at Ilousatonic is also quartzyte. 
There are two strata of quartzyte in Monument mountain, with 
sandy mica schist between, and the same kind of mica schist oc- 
curs under the west end. The quartzyte and arenaceous mica 
schist make up many of the ridges in Middle Berkshire: as, for 
example, Rattlesnake mountain in Stockbridge; small hills in 
Lee ; the long and high ridge which lies east of the Ilousatonic 
river at Great Barrington and which from there extends down 
to southern Sheffield ; and other ranges farther east in Monte- 
rey and the eastern half of New Marlborough ; and ridges also 
in Canaan, Ct. ; and mountain ridges in Vermont, along the 
eastern side of the great limestone belt. 

It is seen from these descriptions that gneiss, mica schist with 
some quartzyte are the principal rocks of the eastern plateau of 
Berkshire; mica schist, arenaceous mica schist and quartzyte, 
the common rocks accompanying the limestone in the middle 
portion; and mica schist and hydromica schist, chiefly the latter, 
the rocks of the western third including the Taeonic range. 

As you go westward in any part of Berkshire, the schists be- 
come less and less coarse in texture ; and at the western foot of 
the Taeonic range, they are sometimes but little more crystalline 
or glossy than rooting slate. So it is also with the limestones, 
the coarsest crystalline limestones and coarsest marbles are to 
the eastward ; to the westward, west of the Taeonic range, they 
are gray and feebly crystalline. This downward gradation in 
degree of crystallization, from east to west, is, in a general way, 
true for all parts of the region from Vermont to Connecticut. 
There is a similar downward gradation in going from south to 
north, but at a less rapid rate, the change in tvn miles, from 
east to west, being about as great as that in one hundred and 
twenty-five miles from south- to north. 

14 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 


The Berkshire rocks have generally a high pitch or dip, often 
5(i degrees, sometimes 90 degrees, and are rarely horizontal. A- 
I have said, my observations sustain those of Professors Dewey 
and Emmons, as to the very general eastward direction of the 
pitch, and the absence of any break separating the limestones 
from the schist ridges. It is certainly true, as Prof. Emmons 
held, that the Taconic rocks are of one system., which means that 
they were originally one continuous pile of horizontally bedded 
rocks; that they were upturned simultaneously and together 
placed in their present positions. 

This conclusion has been confirmed also, by the Professors 
Hitchcock, Logan of Canada, Mather of New York and Wing 
of Vermont ; in fact by all who have studied the rocks of the 
region. There are localities where westward dip occurs, but 
these make no exception to the one-ness of system, as 1 shall 
soon explain. 

Another point to be noted is that the rocks are in a series of 
folds or flexures; and that the north and south direction of the 
folds determined the general north and south direction of the 
ridges and valleys. 

The folds have an inclination to the westward, and so large 
an inclination that the dip of the beds on the west side is often 
50 to 00 degrees east, and sometimes 30 to 40 degrees east ; and 
sometimes nearly horizontal, in which case the fold makes a 
complete overturn of the beds. In the Taconic range and the 
subordinate ridges within the limestone region a dip on the west 
side, of 50 degrees east is very common. In Monument moun- 
tain I think we have an example of a complete overturn. 

A section showing the original folds, is very unlike an actual 
section of the rocks of a region because of the immense amount 
of erosion that has taken place over the country. In the first 
place, the erosion and removal of rock would be greatest over 
the upward bends, because the stretching to make such a bend 
would have opened multitudes of great fissures; and then, if 
the removal of these upward bends went on until the underly- 
ing limestone was exposed to the wear, the limestone areas 
would have become eroded far more rapidly than the interven- 

Berkshire Geology. 1 5 

ing areas of schist, as I have already said, and so the schist of 
the do'umward bends would be left in ridges and make the 

ridges of the country, just as now in Berkshire. 

But in order that the explanation given may be without ob- 
jection, it must be proved that the limestone formation is the 
underlying and older one. Evidence on this point has already 
been given in the case of the Greylock region : I have been 
over the ground and confirmed the observations of Emmons and 
Hitchcock. To verify the facts in Adams it is not sufficient to 
take the pitch of the limestone in the valley near the village of 
Adams; you must ascend the steep road going west, and find 
out-crops of limestone west of the north and south carriage road 
as close as they can be found to the schist of the mountain, 
there the true relation in position to the schist may be obtained ; 
hut cad of the north and south road, you will find the dip re- 
versed, and several variations in dip between that road and the 
village. Over the limestone areas the limestone has been vari- 
ously flexed, and only where the limestone and schist out-crop 
very near one another, can their true relations in pitch be as- 

The limestone of Adams continues on without interruption 
to North Adams. At the large quarry against the side hill 
west of the railroad station, the limestone beds dip steeply to 
the eastward instead of westward; and so does the mica schist 
of the ledges west of it. This may seem to reverse the conclu- 
sion from the facts at Adams. But it cannot reverse them ; it 
only gives new facts at North Adams, and shows that the fold 
there, instead of having the shape of a wide open basin, has the 
east side pushed westward. The Greylock limestone trough, 
taking its whole length for six miles, is then like a broad basin 
to the south, and like a careened trough to the north, with in- 
termediate stages (as I have proved) between the two. 

In the southwestern corner of Massachusetts stands Mount 
AVashington, second to Greylock in height among the Taconic 
elevations of Berkshire, and the superior of the two in its pan- 
orama, because of the wide extent and variety of the valleys at 
its base. The Mount Washington schists lie in a trough very 
much like that of Greylock, but one relatively shorter in its 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific, Society. 

narrowed part and reversed in position. In the northern half 
the trough as careful observations show, is a very broad, .-hallow 
one, while to the south the east side is pushed up westward. 
\u South Egremont, at a distance of about five hundred yards 
from the junetion of the under-mountain road and the east and 
west road (in a direction south southwest from the house of I\ 
B. Warren) the limestone and schist in near outcrops dip ID te 
15 degrees westward. Nearer the road the limestone has a 
bulge or upward bend and dips both ways; but this local bulge 
does not change the relation to the schist of the mountain, 
farther south. One of the best places for observing the fact is 
near the house of L. Roys, where the road reaches its highest 
level against the base of the mountain and is very near the line 
of junetion of the limestone and schist. But three miles south 
of L. Hoys' half a mile from the Massachusetts boundary on the 
road going up the mountain, the westward dip is 50 to 55 de- 
grees west; at Sage's Ravine, just south of the boundary it is 
DO to 70 degrees west. Still farther south the dip becomes ver- 
tical; and opposite the Scoville ore-pit the dip is eastward 75 t<> 
80 degrees, so that in Connecticut the east side of the trough 
has a westward push or thrust. 

Tom .Ball, the high ridge west of Southern Stockbridge and 
Williamsville, is another fold of this kind. As in all other 
ridges, the dip on the west side is eastward. The place where 
a westward dip may be found on the east side isat its north- 
eastern angle, west of Mr. E. Tymeson's house. To find this 
house you take the road that goes west from Glendale, and on 
reaching the Williams River valley road, go south, cross the 
bridge, the house is the first after crossing. This westward dip 
show's that the limestone makes a broad open trough under- 
neath the schist. But to the south toward and by Long Lake, 
the dip of the schist at the east foot of Tom Ball, is every where 
eastward, and the trough in this part is hence like a careened 
trough pushed over westward. That road from Glendale to the 
Williams River valley, is an interesting one to the geologist. 
Where it leaves the Williams River valley, the limestone may 
be seen near the road side dipping under the schist almost hori- 
zontally and from this point junctions may be found northward 

Berkshire Geology. 


to the quarry that overlooks the valley. Again, at the top of 

the ascent of the little stream from Mowhawk Lake, the lime- 
stone may again he seen dipping at a small angle under tin; 
schist. The facts show that the schist of the Stockbridge or 
Lenox mountain is underlaid by the limestone. 

The underlying position of the limestone is beautifully shown 
on the road crossing from the Ilousatonic valley into the "Wil- 
liams River valley west of the "Old Furnace." This Old Fur- 
nace is situated about three-fourths of a mile north of IJousa- 
tonic village. At this place occurs an arched section. The up- 
ward arching limestone has its flanks covered with the schist. 
The schist of the west side of the arch together with the under- 
lying limestone are continued northward, and there make a 
ridge with abrupt eastward front, its brow of schist, its middle 
and base of limestone. 

The facts stated are sufficient to prove that the limestone is 
the underlying rock of the region ; that it passes underneath 
the schist of the Taconic range ; that where it conies to the sur- 
face on the west side of the ridge, it is the Sparry limestone of 
Emmons, the western belt of the Taconic system. 

That this is the true relation of the Copake and Millerton 
part of the western belt, or that west of Mount Washington, is 
proved by the facts with regard to the Mount Washington 
trough. That it is true with reference to the Stephentown and 
New Lebanon section of the western belt, is proved by the con- 
tinuity of this limestone with the Williamstown limestone; for 
the Williamstown limestone stretches south along Green River 
valley and beyond Hancock passes through the Taconic range, 
ajid becomes the belt of Stephentown, New Lebanon and Ca- 
naan Four Corners; and, further, near Canaan Four Corners, 
the limestone belt returns eastward, cutting nearly through the 
Taconic range again ; so that, at the State Line station, only 
half a mile of schist intervenes between the limestone of Cana- 
an, N. Y., and that of West Stockbridge and Pittsiield. Thus 
it was limestone that determined the existence of the break in 
the Taconic range for the convenience of communication across. 
The passage-way across is but slightly above the general level 

18 Berkshire Historical, and Scientific Society. 

of the limestone plain either side; it is a nearly flat alluvial 

plain, although not wide. 

The Berlin Limestone is a northward branch of the New Leb- 
anon and Stephentown belt. North of Berlin another portion 
of the western belt commences in southern Pctcrsburgh. This 

limestone makes a broad connection with the great central Ver- 
mont belt in Bennington — the belt that extends continuously 
from Williamstown through Dorset and Rutland to Middlebury 

and beyond. 

Thus it is plain that the western limestone is only a part of 
the eastern. The Stoek bridge limestone, Sparry limestone and 
Vermont limestone are one in formation. It is hence the fact 
that all the limestone of the region belongs to one stratum ; and 
most, if not all, of the schists and quartzyte of middle and 
western Berkshire to one overlying stratum or formation. 

The speculating geologist would go further and say that when 
the limestone and the overlying schist were in progress of for- 
mation, in great horizontal strata, Western New England and 
Eastern New York were together the area of a great sea, prob- 
ably not a very deep sea; that in this great continental sea, as 
now in the Florida seas and many parts of the Pacific, limestone 
was made out of shells, corals, etc., as long as the waters were 
pure from sediment. But that afterward, there was an era of 
marine currents carrying sediments, or earth and sand ; and that 
thus a stratum of earthly material, perhaps 4,000 or 5,000 feet 
thick, was formed over the limestone. As already explained, 
fossils in the Vermont part of the limestone prove that these 
events occurred in Lower Silurian time. 

l>ut the above remarks do not cover eastern Berkshire. The 
quartzyte of this region is probably the same with the Potsdam 
sandstone of New York, older than the limestone, an underly- 
ing rock of the same series. As to the age of the gneisses, ex- 
cepting those that plainly graduate into the quartzyte, I have no 
definite opinion excepting for those that are plainly Arcluean, as 
already pointed out. These Archaean areas were probably is- 
lands in the continental sea when the limestone and overlying 
beds were in progress, stretching off in a long train, northward 
and eastward in course, from the Highland Arcluean of Putnam 
County, New York. 

Berkshire Geology. \ r .) 


I come now to the question as to the origin of the Berkshire 
beds of iron ore, remarkable for their purity and extent, which 
are found along the margins of some of the limestone valleys; 
and not only in Berkshire, but also, similarly in Vermont, in 
Northwestern Connecticut, in Eastern New York, through 
Hillsdale, Oopake, Millerton, down to Pawling; also farther to 
the southwest in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina; which 
are everywhere the same in aspect, the same in position, the 
same, for the most part, in origin. 

The beds are usually situated near the base of the ridges of 
mica schist along the margin of the adjoining belt of limestone. 
If they occur near the middle portions of a limestone belt, a 
thin or thick belt of schist makes almost always one or the other 
side of the opened pit ; and when the pit is opened in the schist 
at the base of a ridge of schist, or elsewhere, it goes down 
through the schist and descends into limestone. The beds gen- 
erally lie beneath a thick covering of sand and gravel — some- 
times more than a hundred feet in depth. But this gravel is 
part of the drift brought by the old Glacial era or at the final 
melting of the great glacier. 

The ore is an oxide of iron containing 10 to 14 per cent, of 
water, and is mostly the mineral limonite which is the brown 
hematite of miners. Limonite contains, when pure, 14.4 per 
cent, of water. All now admit that the ore is a secondary pro- 
duct; that is, that it was formed through the oxidation of iron 
that originally made part of minerals in the schist, or in the 
limestone, or else in both. The ore is always very cavernous or 
loose in texture, often has the pendent forms of stalactites, as if 
it had been deposited by waters in cavernous recesses; and great 
masses of it look as if they had been made by deposition from 
solutions against the walls of small irregular cavities. These 
facts and the large amount of water present, — 14 per cent. — 
show that water, not tire, was a chief agent in its formation. 

My own conclusion (and that of the Pennsylvania geologists 
as stated in a recent report on the similar mines of that State) is 
that the iron has come mainly from the limestone formation, 

20 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and not from the schist or slate. Some of the limestone, as well 
as schist, contains pyrite (or iron pyrites) a brass-colored mineral 
consisting of 46.7 per cent, of iron and 53.3 of sulphur. lint 
we are sure that this is not the source of the iron of these beds, 
because there is ordinarily very little pyrite present in either the 
schist or limestone; and secondly, because the ore is peculiarly 
free from sulphur. Pyrite has been, in many regions, a source 
of such ore beds; but it was not so here. In the oxidation of 
pyrite there are 53 per cent, of sulphur to be got rid of — 53 
pounds in every 100 pounds of pyrite — and a considerable por- 
tion is sure to remain behind and contaminate the ore when 
pyrite is the source. At the Amenia ore pit I was informed 
that they reject the ore that lies along the wall of slate because 
it is impure with sulphur; this being so because pyrite in the 
slate had contributed to the ore on that side. 

The iron cannot have come from the iron of the mica of the 
slate, for the mica contains also clayey and other earthy mate- 
rials (alumina, magnesia, silica,) which make up at least nine- 
tenths of the mass, and these ought to be mixed more generally 
than they are with the ore if this were the source. The iron ore 
is often pure ore for thicknesses of twenty to thirty feet. It is 
true that ore made out of iron in the schist might be washed by 
running waters into basins and that thick beds might have been 
thus accumulated. Such beds occur in many places over New 
England and other countries ; for the well known marsh depos- 
its of iron ore have this origin. But in the case of these ore de- 
posits, the cavities in which the ore occurs, are cavities in the 
limestone formation, and often of immense extent. By their 
indefinite outlines the cavities show that they were not previ- 
ously made caverns, but that they were made as the slow process 
of decay went forward through which the ore was produced. 
Now, slow decay in the slate could not have produced the decay 
in the limestone, and thus opened the needed cavities. 

All the facts point to the conclusion that the iron has come 
chiefly from the limestone; not from pyrite in the limestone, 
but from limestone which contained iron as one of its essential 
constituents. Ordinary limestone is a carbonate of calcium, or of 
calcium and magnesium, and has no iron to oxidize. But if it be 

Berkshire Geology. 21 

a carbonate of calcium and magnesium and iron, then, even if the 
iron amount only to one or two per cent,, the limestone will rust 
readily on exposure to air and water, the iron oxidizing, passing 
from the protoxide state to the sesquioxide state, the latter the 
state in all the ore; and if manganese is present also, manganese 
ore will he made. 

The removal of the iron portion of a limestone loosens the 
texture of the whole rock, and sets free carbonic acid. The now 
loose-textnred limestone is easily dissolved away by percolating 
waters; and thus the oxide of iron, or ore, is left by itself and a 
cavity made for its reception at the same time. 

Part of the iron of the limestone formation is sometimes in the 
state of iron carbonate, a light gray rock which the Berkshire min- 
ers call u White Horse" (though they sometimes include also, un- 
der the name, any white rock in the ore.) Iron carbonate (siderite 
of Mineralogy) when pure consists of 62.1 per cent, of iron and 
37.9 of carbonic acid. This "White Horse 1 ' has been found in 
large ledges or masses, sometimes scores of feet in length or 
breadth, at the Leete ore pit in West Stockbridge, at Ore Hill 
in Salisbury, and at the Amenia ore pit in Amenia, ]ST. Y., and 
less abundantly in other ore pits. It changes to oxide of iron 
wherever water and air gain access; and the blocks laid up in 
heaps near one of these ore pits, in two years' exposure only, are 
turned black, from the change outside to the limonite, so that it 
is not easy to distinguish them from the other ore, except by 
breaking them. The White Horse rock is, however, so com- 
pact that the oxidation goes on chiefly in the rifts or cracks. 
The iron-bearing limestone is more porous, and general decom- 
position goes on more rapidly. But here also the change takes 
place most rapidly along the cracks or fissures, making crusts of 
ore, one crust to each surface of a fracture; and the crust keeps 
thickening as the iron of the limestone oxidizes. When the As- 
sures intersect one another hollow crusts are made enclosing 
limestone, which finally become empty as the limestone is dis- 
solved out. Thus a cavity may be lined with the lustrous con- 
cretionary ore, or hung with stalactites consisting of the ore. 

When the iron-bearing limestone is pure from earthy or sandy 

22 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

materials, it is wholly removed by the percolating water excepting 

its oxidized iron. Now if this iron portion amounts to hut. two 
or three per cent., a layer of limestone ten fact thick would pro- 
duce a layer of ore less than six inches thick, or less than a twen- 
tieth of the original thickness. A great caving in and irregular 
settling of the overlying material would consequently go on as 
the changes went forward; and gravel and schist descending 
with water from the hills, might add to the covering of earth 
and rock. 

Since, as mining has shown, the ore and therefore the iron- 
bearing limestone is very irregularly distributed, the ore bear- 
ing cavities eroded in the limestone have all shapes — widen and 
narrow without seeming reason, or run out altogether and then 
open anew; or occur as isolated cavities. The ore, for a simi- 
lar reason, is of great thichness in one part of an ore pit and of 
very little in another, and has great irregularities in its distribu- 

As a consequence of the discharge of carbonic acid attending 
the oxidation of the iron of the limestone, the waters which gain 
access to the beds have great decomposing action on the adjoin- 
ing and Overlying slate or schist; and hence the slate or schist, 
both that of the walls and of any overlying masses, becomes 
changed to an impure clay. The decomposition to clay or earth 
is often so complete that little hard material is left excepting the 
hard white quartz that formed veins in the slate or was dissemi- 
nated in it in masses. This is one source of the clay and sand 
in the ore-pits. In addition, the limestone is often impure ; that 
is, it contains sand or other earthy minerals, often ten to twenty 
per cent, or more. Consequently, the removal of the limestone 
by the dissolving action of percolating waters will leave these 
materials behind. Thus a bed of limestone may leave behind a 
thick bed of clayey material or sand ; and cavities of the ore may 
contain a lump of the same material. 

Perhaps now, in closing, you would like a little more of geo- 
logical speculation as to the origin of Berkshire phenomena. 

How did the iron get into the limestone? Why is it in that 
part of the limestone which is within a hundred yards of the 
schist? Why is it distributed with so great irregularity, — here 

Bcrhnli ire Geology . 23 

in bnuul patches, there in winding courses abruptly, widening or 
narrowing, and so on? 

If you accept of the view that the limestone was first made 
in great horizontal beds in the pure waters of a Lower Silurian 
sea; that the schist or slate was originally the sediment that in 
the following era was deposited over the limestone; that during 
the epoch of transition between the two conditions great sea- 
border marshes might have existed, receiving, here and there, 
like similar modern marshes, iron-bearino- solutions through the 
drainage of a bordering country, until ore deposits were made, 
you may perhaps put together a theory that will account for the 
introduction and the peculiar irregular distribution of the ore 
in t]\(i limestone. According to recent experiments such iron 
salts flowing over calcareous sands might lead to a chemical 
combination of the iron and the calcareous material, making a 
carbonate of calcium and iron, or of calcium, magnesium and 

Again the questions may have suggested themselves: Why 
are the strata of limestone and of earthy sediments now in a 
crystalline condition '( AVhy are they bent up into great north 
and south folds; and into folds having their tops pushed over 
westward I 

Such questions open up a large subject with respect to which 
geologists can furnish many opinions. This one fact appears to 
be certain that the folds— sometimes in half a dozen parallel 
lines over the country — are evidence of pressure ; not of pressure 
f rom beneath, but of lateral pressure in the earth crust ; and 
facts indicate that the lateral pressure came from the eastward. 
The facts are similar in the Alleghanies, and have had the same 

Within a few months it has been reported by the Director of 
the Geological survey of Great Britain, that during some part 
of the Silurian era, in Northern Scotland, a vast sheet of rock, 
chiefly gneiss in the more northern portion, four hundred feet 
thick, was shoved westward horizontally for ten miles at least, 
over the Lower Silurian rocks of the region; that this stupend- 
ous movement took place over a breadth of country ninety miles 
long from north to south. It was a marvelous effect to come from 

24 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

such a cause — lateral pressure in the earth's crust. It is as it' 
the gneiss of the mountain plateau of all eastern Berkshire, or 
four hundred feet in thickness of it, and also of forty mi lea 
north in Vermont, had been shoved westward until its fronl 
edge lay over the Taconic range. 

In Berkshire no such stupendous overthrusts have yet been 
detected, but the smaller which occur have the same origin — 
lateral pressure from the eastward. It is interesting to note also, 
that according to evidence from Scottish and New England fos- 
sils, the great mountain-making events in Scotland and Berk- 
shire may have occurred simultaneously — at the close of the 
Lower Silurian. 

Such upturnings of strata, whether ten or twenty thousand 
feet thick, would have been attended with a vast amount of 
friction within the moving mass. Now, friction produces heat ; 
and chiefly to this heat so engendered is the crystallization of 
the limestone and slates, with the obliteration of all included 
remains of the ancient life, now attributed by geologists. 

I think I have gone as far in this subject as you are now ready 
to go with me. Berkshire has been to me a great source of 
pleasure through the few years past. And that pleasure is 
doubled by the privilege you have given me of communicating 
to you some of the results of my investigations. 

[Since this paper was read in February of 1885, I have made 
further explorations in Berkshire, and can now report the dis- 
covery of fossils, just over the Taconic range in Canaan, X. V. 
At that time, I received, through the kindness of Mr. Daniel 
Clark of Tyringham, a specimen of fossiliferous limestone label- 
ed "West Stockbridge." In June I went over West Stock- 
bridge, with a paleontological friend, Prof. "Win. B. D wight of 
Poughkeepsie ; but in our search we found only uncertain indi- 
cations of fossils. Mr. D wight continued his walk westward 
along the railroad to the depot at Canaan Four Corners; and on 
the way, at the tunnel near Canaan Center, and also half a mile 
south of the tunnel, found distinct fossils, which on examina- 
tion proved to be Lowe? 1 Silurian and probably of the a<je of 
the Trenton limestone of New York • they were shells, vrin- 
oids and a fragment of a trilobite. Thus the question as to 

Barks/tire (teology. 25 

the Lower Silurian age of the Taeorric limestone, east and west 
of the Taconic range, and of the Taconic schist constituting the 
the mountains, was finally settled by facts close at hand. 

r learned from Mr. Clarke that the specimen I received from 
him was given him by Mr. John W. Smith of Canaan Four 
Corners; and with Mr. Smith I visited the place — the field of 
his brother-in-law, Mr. E. S. Hall. I found several loose masses 
of the rock but none in place; but as the loose masses were an- 
gular they probably came from some ledge now buried, it' not 
exposed in a more northern part of the valley. The limestone of 
the ledges abontMr. Hall's farm was unlike that of the masses, 
and more like that at the tunnel, and one fossil apparently a 
coral of the genus Favositcs, (a description of these Canaan fos- 
sils will be found in the American Journal of Science in April, 
1886,) was obtained by me from it. 

The limestone of the loose masses looks as if made of blackish 
limestone pebbles; bnt the rounded pieces are really a fossil 
coral, vevy finely columnar in structure; and with it occur other 
fossils. It is identical in appearance and general fossiliferons 
character with one variety of the Wappinger valley limestone 
found at Pleasant Valley, and is undoubtedly of the age of the 
Trenton limestone. I hope yet to find the ledge from which 
the masses came. Mr. Hairs farm is only seven or eight miles 
in a straight line from Pittstield. It is hence certain that the 
Stoekbridge limestone — which is the limestone of Pittsfield and 
North Adams, and also the western limestone, or that of Cana- 
an, New Lebanon, Williamstown and beyond, was once full of 
fossil corals, shells and crinoids, and but for the crystallization 
the rock has since undergone converting it into marble, they 
would be distinct in the rock now. — [March 12, 1880. 

The Western Boundary 
oe Massachusetts. 

A Stmly of Indian and Colonial History. 




The adjustment of the boundary lines between Massachu- 
setts Day and the adjacent colonies and provinces, is a subject 
which for generations furnished a most prolific occasion of con- 
troversy and disagreement between the authorities and the in- 
habitants of the several governments concerned therein. The 
historian who has had no occasion to investigate the matter, 
can form but an inadequate conception of the vast volume of 
legislation, negotiation and correspondence relative to this sub- 
ject which encumber the dusty archives of the ancient colonial 
governments. It would have been well if this were all. but 
these same records afford abundant evidence that the boundary 
disputes originated, or at all events furnished a convenient pre- 
text for many angry altercations and riotous assemblages, which 
not infrequently — at least in the case of the particular bounda- 
ry to which this investigation relates — terminated in armed 
conflicts attended with no inconsiderable loss of life. 

There is perhaps no reason to suppose that Massachusetts has 
sinned in this respect beyond any of her sister states, for it is a 
matter of history that to a greater or less extent the same causes 
of diiference have existed elsewhere, and have necessarily pro- 
duced similar results. It has been truthfully observed that 
while adjacent landholders may take but little note of the title, 
quality or culture of their neighbor's fields, they are neverthe- 
less certain to evince a lively and abiding interest in the ques- 
tion of the proper location of the division fences. It is this in. 
stinctive jealousy, a feeling which is shared by every one of us 
in respect to the possible encroachments of neighbors upon his 
territorial possessions, which lends a certain degree of contem- 
poraneous human interest to the subject of this paper. In the 
case of the boundary between the provinces of Massachusetts 

^N '50 fitpfJcjthwt} II bdori<;o.l thru! SvlerU'iJu; S*M;iety. 

and New York, the bitterness of the controversy was intensified 

by the presence of conditions which did not exist elsewhere. 
It involved not only a conflict of different nationalities hut of 

^Antagonistic political institutions. To look upon this contention 
merely as a trial of conclusions between the English and Dutch 
settlers and their respective descendants would he to underesti- 
mate its true significance, for it involved something far more im- 
portant than this; it was nothing less than a death-struggle be- 
tween the free land-tenures and independent town organizations 
of the Massachusetts colony, and the antiquated feudal system 
under which the adjacent territories of the province of New 
York were held and governed. While the quarrel had its origin 
in the selfish greed of individuals, vet from beginning tu 
end these peculiar political and social conditions exercised a 
potent influence upon the character of the proceedings, and 
confer upon the subject a degree of historical interest and im- 
portance which under other circumstances it might not have 

The original rights of sovereignty and dominion assumed in 
America by the great European powers were founded in the 
first instance upon the basis of prior discovery and possession ; 
rights into the origin of which it is not proposed to impure, but 
which are founded upon ancient and immemorial usage. Under 
the law of nations, the mere fact of prior discovery constitutes 
in itself but an imperfect or inchoate title, unless followed 
by actual occupation, and a formal declaration of the in- 
tention of the sovereign or state to take possession. But it 
should be understood that the titles asserted in the royal grants 
were against other European nations only. The English, the 
French and the Dutch, alike asserted an exclusive claim to the 
sovereignty and jurisdiction of their respective discoveries, but 
the right in the soil was in fact limited to the privilege of pre- 
emption, or in other words, the exclusive right to purchase at 
the owner's price such lands as the natives might be disposed 
to sell, not the right to coerce from them an unwilling sur- 
render of their territory. In accordance with this traditional 
policy, each colonial government, within its own limits, asserted 
and enforced an exclusive right to extinguish Indian titles by 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. ?> 1 

fair purchase, under the sanction of treaties made by the natives 
collectively in open council. All private purchases, whether 
from the Indians individually, or collectively as tribes, were 
held to be absolutely null and void. Hence a governmental 
grant was the only source of territorial title of which the valid- 
ity was admitted in the courts of justice. 1 

The authorities of the several colonies appear on the whole 
to have treated the Indians with praiseworthy justice and mod- 
eration. There were isolated instances, it is true, in which the 
lands of the Indians were wrongfully appropriated or the stip- 
ulated compensation withheld. Through corrupt political in- 
fluences, or by misrepresentation and fraud, unscrupulous indi-' 
viduals sometimes succeeded in obtaining & prima facie title to 
lands to which they had no right, but cases of this kind may 
fairly have been said to be exceptional.- 

The English claim to that portion of the continent of North 
America included in the great patent of James I. in 1600, was 
founded on the discoveries of Sebastian Cabot, who in 1497-8 
sailed at a distance along the Atlantic coast between the forti- 
eth and forty-eighth parallels of latitude. 

The claim of the Dutch was founded upon the discoveries of 
Henry Hudson and Adrian Block. Hudson, an English mari- 
ner in the service of the Dutch West India Company, sailed 
from Holland in the spring of 160i>, and after an adventurous 
voyage anchored within the mouth of the river afterwards called 
the Delaware. Thence coasting northward he entered the lower 
bay of New York, and in September 1009, after having spent a 
few days in the examination of the adjacent shores and waters 
he cautiously ascended the river called by the natives the Ma- 
hicanituk, 3 until on the seventeenth of that month he dropped 
anchor nearly apposite what is now Castleton. Here lie landed. 

1. Kent's Commentaries. (8th Ed.) iii, 463-492. 

2. As early as 1688, Massachusetts formally prohibited the purchase of land from the 
natives without license from the government, and Plymouth in 1W3 passed a similar 
law. In New Netherlands a like honorable policy was pursued from the first by the 
Dutch, and afterward continued by their successors. Immediately alter the conquest 
by the English in 1665, it was ordained that no purchase of lands from the Indians should 
be valid, without the license of the governor and the execution of the purchase in his 

:i. According to lleekewelder, this was the name given to the river by the Delawares 
and other southern tribes, signifying literally, the place of the Mahicans. The Mahicaus 
themselves called it the Snatenuic. The Iroquois name appears to have been t'ahohat- 
atea. Cull. N. V. Hist. Soc. i, 43. 

32 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and, as it is related, upon invitation accompanied an Indian &a- 
clieni to his wigwam where lie was hospitably entertained; 1 Af- 
ter tending an exploring party in a boat at least as far as what 
is now "Waterfowl, Hudson returned to the month of the Mahi- 
canituk, and sailed homeward, reaching Dartmouth, England, 
on the seventh of November, from whence he forwarded an ac- 
count of his discoveries to his employers. The next year u 
company of Amsterdam merchants dispatched a trading vessel 
to the newly discovered river, and in 1612 and L613, a number 
of similar commercial ventures were undertaken. In the au- 
tumn of 1613, one of the Dutch vessels commanded by Adrian 
Block was accidentally burned just as she was about to sail from 
the river on her return voyage. In consequence of this misfor- 
tune, Block and his crew were obliged to winter among the na- 
tives, in huts which they erected on Manhattan island.- During 
the winter Block built a small yacht, 3 and in the spring under- 
took a voyage of exploration to the eastward. Sailing along the 
northern shore of the sound, he visited what he named the 
"River of Iloodenberg," or Red Hills, which he described as 
"about a bow-shot wide." To Block therefore, must be as- 
cribed the honor of the first discovery of our own beautiful 
river, the Ilousatonic. Still further eastward he came to the 
mouth of a large river — the Connecticut — which he named the 
Fresh river, lie ascended this as far as the foot of the rapids 
near the present village of Windsor Locks, where he found a 
fortified Indian village. Returning thence to the sound, he 
successively visited the localities now known as Thames river, 
Montauk Point, Block Island, Narragansett Bay, the Vineyard. 
Nantucket, and Nahant. 4 Six years therefore before the Pil- 
grims landed at Plymouth, all the prominent localities on the 
southern and southeastern coast of New England had been vis- 

1. A detailed account of Hudson's exploration of the river and bay, derived from 
.luet's journal of Hudson's third voyage, and De Laet's narrative, is given in llrodhead's 
History of New York, i, ^(i-:U. See also Yates &. Moulton's Historv of New York, i. 

2. Brod head's Hist. New York, i, 48. 

:i This was the first vessel built in New Netherland. and was named the Onnist 
(Restless.) It was forty-four and a half feet long, eleven and a half feet Iteain, and of 
about 8 lasts, or 1U tons burden. Vol. History of New York, i, IS : BroU head's New 
York, i 55. 

-I. Brodhead's Hist, New York, i, 55-59. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 33 

ited and examined by this enterprising Dutch explorer. From 
Cape Cod, he returned to Holland, and in the following year 
supervised the preparation of a map embodying his discoveries. 1 
Armed with this map as an exhibit, the Amsterdam merchants 
now petitioned the States-General of the Netherlands for a trad- 
ing charter to the regions which had been made known by the 
enterprise of the Dutch navigators. The request was at once 
complied with, and on the 10th of October, 1(>1 4, the charter 
of the " Directors of New Netherlands" was passed and duly 
sealed, granting them the exclusive right "to visit and navigate 
to the aforesaid newly discovered lands lying in America, be- 
tween New France and Virginia, the sea coasts whereof extend 
from the fortieth to the forty-fifth degree of latitude, now 
named New Netherland, (as is to be seen on the Figurative Map 
prepared by them,) for four voyages within the period of three 
years, commencing on the first day of January, 1615, next en- 
suing, or sooner.'' 12 

In 1(514 a fortified trading post called Fort Nassau was estab- 
lished near what is now Albany, and Jacob Eelkins, its com- 
mandant, ere long succeeded in establishing a lucrative traffic in 
furs, while he kept scouting parties constantly engaged in ex- 
ploring the surrounding wilderness and in cultivating friendly 
relations with the native inhabitants. 3 

A mutually advantageous treaty of peace and friendship was 
concluded at an early day between the whites and the Indians 
at Fort Nassau, which remained unbroken for more than one 
hundred and fifty years. 4 

The first English exploration of the southern coast of New Eng- 
land took place in 1619, in which year Captain Thomas Derner, 
sailing from Monhegan near the Kennebec, rounded (Jape Cod, 
passed inside of Long Island, and thence to James river. The 
following year he returned, making a more Careful examination 
of the shores, 5 after which he transmitted his report to his em- 

1. The original of this map, which is beautifully executed on parchment, is in the 
archives at the Hague. It is the most ancient map extant of the coast of southern New 
England and New York. A fac simile is in the office of the Secretary of state at Albany. 
A detailed description of it may be found in Brodhead's Hist. New York, i, 755-G. 

2. New York Col. Hist., i, 10. 

3. Brodhead's 1 list. New York, i, 55, G7, 755. 

4. Doe. Hist. New York, iii, 51 ; Brodhead's Hist. New York, i, 81. 

5. Dermer's letter Dec. 27, 1019, in New York Hist. Soc. Coll., i. 352. 

34 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

plover, Sir Fernando Gorges, 1 who with thirty associates con- 
stituting the Plymouth company, had already petitioned the 
kino- for a charter. The information communicated by Denier 
no doubt spurred them in their efforts, and at length they were 
fortunate enough to receive the royal assent to their petition.* 

The great patent of New England, thus granted by James 
the First in 1620, to "the Council established at Plymouth in 
the comity of Devon for the planting, ruling and governing of 
New- England in America," granted to that corporation all that 
part of the continent of North America lying between the for- 
tieth and forty-eighth degrees of north latitude "throughout the 
main land from sea to sea, provided the same or any part be not 
actually possessed or inhabited by any other Christian prince or 
state,' 1 together with a complete monopoly of its trade and ab- 
solute powers of legislation and government. 3 The subsequent 
grants of the soil of the several New England colonies were is- 
sued under this patent. 

Meanwhile the charter of the Amsterdam mercantile adven- 
turers had expired by limitation, and their enterprise was suc- 
ceeded by a great commercial organization, chartered by the 
States General of the United Netherlands in 1021, as the West 
India Company, with the most ample power to colonize, go vern 
and defend the territories of New Netherland. 4 Under the au- 
spices of this company permanent colonization was commenced 
in 10*28, in which year Fort Orange was erected on the present 
site of Albany, 5 and Fort Nassau on the South or Delaware 
river. Two families were also sent to the Fresh or Connecticut 
river, and a fort or trading post named Good Hope was com- 
menced where Hartford now is. In 102(> Manhattan Island was 
purchased of the natives and a fortified settlement commenced, 
which soon became the commercial emporium of the new colo- 
ny. It must therefore be admitted as an indisputable lustorieal 
fact that the Dutch were the prior occupants as well as the prior 
discoverers of the country adjacent to the navigable portions of 
the Hudson, the Housatonic, the Connecticut and the Delaware. 

1. Oo7'tfes' Brief Narration. Massachusetts Hist. Soc. Coll., xxvi, C;i 

ii Order in Council, .Inly 23, 1620. New York Col. Hist., iii, K. 

3. Hazard's Slate Papeis, i, 90-118; Trumbull's Connecticut, i. M6. 

4. Sec charter at length. Hazard i. 121 : O'Callaghun's New Netherland, i, 399. 

5. Doe. Hist. New York, iii, 85, 50, 51. 


The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 35 

The contradictory statements and opinions of historians con- 
cerning the tribal relations and geographical distribution of the 
aboriginal inhabitants of the valley of the Hudson and the 

mountainous region between that river and the Connecticut, 
have perhaps rather tended to increase than to dispel the ob- 
scurity which envelops the subject. It is certain that the early 
explorers and settlers found hut comparatively few Indian fam- 
ilies permanently occupying the upper Ilousatonic valley. 
Hence it was conjectured by Dr. Field, one of the earliest local 
chroniclers, that the defeat of the eastern tribes by the Xew 
England colonists during Philip's war in 1675 ; the precipitate 
flight of the remnant across the western mountains closely pur- 
sued by Major Talcott and the Connecticut troops, and the san- 
guinary encounter of the colonial forces with the fugitives at 
the ford-way of the Ilousatonic, " midway between Westfield 
and Fort Orange," caused many of the original native inhabit- 
ants to abandon their homes in alarm, and to Hee to the west- 
ward, where they became incorporated with other tribes. 1 Gal- 
latin says that '"while the Pequots and Mohegans claimed some 
authority over the Indians of the Connecticut, those extending 
westwardly to the Hudson appear to have been divided into small 
and independent tribes, united, since they were known to the 
Europeans, by no common government." Smith, the historian 
of Pittstield, while admitting what is unquestionably true, that 
at the date of the discovery, the nation known by the Dutch as 
the Mahicans, and by the English as the Mohegans, occupied 
the territory now comprised in the counties of Berkshire, Co- 
lumbia and Rensselaer, goes on to state that the formation of 
the celebrated league of the Iroquois compelled the Mahicans to 
form an alliance witli the Wappingers and other river tribes 
'"with whom they had up to that time been at continual war," 
but that the allies were nevertheless vanquished by the Mo- 
hawks in a decisive battle fought near Phinebeck not long be- 
fore the advent of the whites, and the defeated party "reduced 
to vassalage. " 4k In 1(525, " continues Smith, li the Mohicans at- 
tempted to regain their independence, but after a merciless war 
of three years duration, the greater portion of them were killed 
1. History of Berkshire County, 11, 15. 

36 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

or captured, and the remainder driven into the valley of the 
Connecticut, where they became incorporated with the IV 
quots." 1 Again, the same anther states that "the Iroquois, 
who had become the feudal lords of the old Mohegan empire, 
granted a refuge to a hand of exiled Narragansetts, which grew 
to he the Scaghticoke tribe, and sent out little colonies to the 
valley of the IIousatonie. ,1 ~ 

It seems probable that Smith has been led into error by ac- 
cepting without sufficient examination the incorrect assertions of 
Q'Oaliaghaiij Brodhead 4 and other New York authorities. 'Jin: 
Mohawks were for generations the petted adherents of the New 
York colonial government, and no opportunity has been neg- 
lected to enlarge upon their prowess. Almost every writer of 
colonial and Indian history has apparently taken for granted as 
an undisputed fact, the original supremacy of the Iroquois con- 
federacy over all the neighboring nations. It is true that wc 
find in the colonial annals comparatively few references to the 
history of the Mahican nation, but the true reason for this omis- 
sion is not difficult to conjecture. Soon after the conquest of 
New Netherlands in 1(>(>4, when the trading post of Fort Or- 
ange came under the dominion of the English and received it.- 
new name of Albany, the Mahicans, originally the sole propri- 
etors of the adjacent territory, for reasons which will hereafter 
be considered, withdrew to the eastward and became essentially 
a New England tribe, and thenceforth their affairs became, so 
far as the New York government was concerned, of secondary 
importance compared with those of the Mohawks and the con- 
federate tribes to the westward. Establishing their headquarters 
in a remote and at that time almost utterly unexplored portion 
of Massachusetts, it is not surprising that so little can be found 
in the archives of that government respecting the Mahicans 
prior to the execution of the treaty at Westtield in 17^4. In 
view of the facts disclosed by the colonial records, to some of 
which reference will presently be made, it may well bo doubted 
if there is any foundation for the assertion that the Mahicans 

1. Smith's History of Pittsfield, Mass., i, 48, 49, 50. 

2. Ibid i, 47. 

3. O'Callaghan'fi New Netherland, i, 855. 

4. Brodliead's New York, i. 81), 87. 

The Western Boundary of, Massachusetts. 37 

were at any period of their history "subjugated " or "reduced to 
vassalage" by the Mohawks, or that they were expelled froth 
the valley of the Hudson as the result of an unsuccessful rebel- 
lion against their alleged oppressors. 

At the date of the discovery, the Mahicans occupied both 
banks of the Hudson, their territories on the west side extend- 
ing from the vicinity of Catskill as far north as the Mohawk- 
river, 1 and westward to the foot of the Helderbergh mountains. 
This is proved by the indisputable evidence of Indian deeds in 
the New York archives." Van Rensselaer, the patroon, pur- 
chased of the Mahican owners in 1680, all their remaining land 
on the west side of the river, extending from Beeren Island 3 
northward to the Mohawk river, and "in breadth two days' 
journey," a tract which constitutes the present -county of Al- 
bany. 4 The site of Beaverwyck, now the city of Albany, had 
been purchased from the same tribe before the building of Fort 
Orange/ A number of Mahican families occupied a castle at 
Cohoes as late as 1660. It is apparent that the possession of 
both shores of a great river like the Hudson was an advantage 
no less important to these savages than it now is to their civil- 
ized successors. Its inexhaustible stores of fish furnished them 
with a certain means of subsistence at all seasons, and the navi- 
gation which it afforded greatly facilitated intercommunication 
and trade. If, therefore, the Mahicans had been vanquished, 
driven away and almost exterminated by the Mohawks in 1028, 
as asserted by the historian referred to, it is inconceivable that 
they could have been permitted to hold undisputed possession 
of the western shore until so late a date as 1G80.* 5 

The territory of the Mahican nation proper, at the date of 
the discovery, extended, as already stated, westward, two days' 
journey beyond the Hudson river, and northward along the 

1. Wassenaer's History Von Europa, Amsterdam, 1624, says that the Mahicans held 
seventy-five English miles on both sides of the river above, and that the Maquas or Mo- 
kawks resided in the interior.— Doe. Hist. New York, iii, SJ7, ~'8. 

x. Ruttonbor's Indian Tribes of Hudson's .River, 31,35; O'Callaghan's New Nether- 
land,!, ues-sj. 

3. Literally Bear's island, so called, no doubt from the totem of its occupants. 

1. New York Records. 

5. Ruttenber's Indian Tribes of Hudson's River, 58; New York t'ol. Hist., 1,542. 

G. Deeds on record in the New York archives show that Aepjin, kinj,' of the Mahicans. 
kept his council lire at Schodack as late as 1004. Ruttenber, 58. 


Berkshire Jlistyricid and Scientific Society. 

same river and the east side of Wood creek 1 and Lake Oluun- 
plain as far as Otter creek in Vermont.* it was bounded 
on the east hy the head waters of the Wcstiicld and the main 
stream of the Tunxis or Farmington river, 3 and on thegoutli hy 
Roelift' Janseifs kill, a tributary of the Hudson, and probably 
also hy Salmon creek, which flows from the westward into the 
llousatonic near Lime Rock station in Connecticut. 4 The an- 
cient council-fire or seat of government was at Scliodack, or 
Eskwatak, at which place their chief was visited by Hudson in 
1609, as already mentioned. 

The Mahicans constituted one of several allied nations of 
common Algonquin descent, c speaking a language gencrically 
the same, whose territories extended over New England fi'om 
Quebec to Manhattan. The confederacy also embraced the 
Lenni- Lena pes or Delawares, occupying the region watered by 
the western tributaries of the Hudson, below Catskill, as wellas 
the extensive area east of the Alleghanies drained by the Dela- 
ware, the Susquehanna and the Potomac. 

That the Mahicans and Mohawks were hereditary enemies is 
indisputable, and that they were frequently at war with each 
other during the period of the Dutch dominion the records af- 
ford abundant evidence, in the last war with the Mohawks in 

. 1. In the Mss. of Sir William Johnson in the N. Y. State Library (vol. xxi, 10) is a 
letter endorsed :— " Letter from Ohio concerning land— ree'd it Oct. ' Kith, 1771." This 
letter was from a Mahiean Indian, Abraham, who had left bis lands on Wood creek in 
1730. and allied himself with the Delawares. In this letter he says :— '* I understand the 
Mohikans at Stockbi'idge are wanting to sell a certain tract of land lying above Albany. 
from the mouth of Wood creek upwards." lie claimed to still own the land, and pro- 
tested against the sale, lie says further, "It may be reported that I am dead, a> it is 
forty years since I left that country." Signed, " Mohekiu Abraham or Keeperdo." 
^. See post. p. 40. 

3. Captain Konkapot, at a conference with the settling committee of the llousatonic 
proprietary in February, 173(5, said : -"All the land east of what I have sold to the com- 
mittee, as far as Farmington river, and south to the Connecticut line is all m\ land." 
Taylor's Hist . Great Harrington, 64. 

4. Deed of Mahiean Indians to Robert Livingston, Doe. Hist. N. Y., iii, 612; Uutten- 
ber's Indian Tribes of Hudson's River, 83, 85. 

5. This castle was located upon the site of the present village of castleton, N. V. 
The name Schodack is derived from the Algonquin skootay, fire, and ak, place. 

6. President Edwards, who was a missionary among them at Ktockbridge for several 
years, gives the name as Mohekaneuw, which as interpreted by themselves, signifies 
"the people of the great waters continually in motion." in allusion to the ancestral tra- 
dition of the nation that they originally emigrated from the north-western coast of 
North America. President Dwight writes the name Muhhekaimeuw. (Dwight's Travels, 
K, 305.) They were called Mahikanders by the Dutch, and Mourigans and Maidini^ans 
by the French. The English orthography of the records is, as usual, various. Mahicans, 
Mohicons, Mohegans, are some of the more common forms. For a list of twenty-six va- 
riants of the name see N. Y. Colonial Hist., yen. index, p. 303. The traditional history of 
the nation is given in detail in Mass. Hist. Coll., ix,' 101. An interesting account of the 
national customs, etc., is in Jones' Stockbridee, Fast and Present. 

0. Iluttenber's Indian Tribes of Hudson's River, 43. 

The Western Boundary of Jfassaehusetts. 39 

16(54 we learn that the Mahicaii nation and its eastern allies as- 
sembled i'n iireat numbers at a place nine miles east of Olav- 
eraek, probably at or near the outlet of Ach-kook-peeek or Co- 
pake lake, and soon after made a furious descent upon the Mo- 
hawks, defeating them with great slaughter. 1 Tliis war contin- 
ued with varying fortunes for two or three years, the balance of 
success inclining decidedly in favor of the Maliicans, until peace- 
was finally restored through the influence of the authorities of 
New York and Massachusetts.- 

At a date not precisely known, hut probably between 1680 
and 1600, the capital of the Mahican nation appears to have 
been removed from Eskwatak to the HousatomV valley. The 
reason assigned for the removal has usually been that the Malii- 
cans were driven from their ancient haunts by their implacable 
enemies, the Mohawks. 4 There appears to be no evidence 
whatever that this was actually the case. A far more probable 
and reasonable explanation is to be looked for in the fact that 
the Mahicans had sold all their territories in the Hudson valley, 
with a few unimportant exceptions, to the colonists. 5 The pa- 
tents of Rensselaer wyck, Kinderhook, Patkook and Livingston, 
all of which had been disposed of before 1685, embraced almost 
the entire territory along the east shore of the Hudson extend- 
ing from Iloelotf Jansen's kill to the Iloosick river. It is alto- 
gether probable therefore, that having thus parted with their 
lands, they peaceably retired further into the wilderness, and it 

1. Doc. Uist. New York, iv. 83,85. 

2. Letter of (iov. Lovelace to Gov. Winthrop in 1001), vide Ruttenber's Indian Tribes 
of Hudson's River, p. 100 (note.) 

;i The derivation of the name Uousatonic lias given rise to a great deal of discussion. 
The terminal syllable (Alg. uk, "place") shows that the name did not belong originally 
to the* river, but to the valley. Dr. Dwight, on the authority of President Edwards, 
gives the name as Iloo-es-ten-nuc, and the signification as "over the mountain." I) wight's 
Travels, i. 8.) According to Trumbull, this interpretation is sustained by analysis ; iwssi 
(Delaware, aavunsi ; Chippewa, wassa,waus / suh; Abnaki,awas or oose.), meaning "be- 
yond," "on the other side of ;" adene % "mountain," and itk, "place" or 'iand." Eu- 
nice Mahwee, the last full-blood survivor of the Scaticoke band of Kent, Conn., in 1859, 
pronounced the name Iloiis'-u-ten-uc, and also interpreted it "over the mountain." I.Mo- 
ravian Memorial, p. 75, Trumbull's Indian names in Conn.) Rev. J. Slingerland, of Kes- 
heua, Wis., a Stoekbridge Indian of pure blood, pronounces the name Ou-t/tot-tori-nook, 
the first syllable having the sound of ou as in out, and gives the same definition. 
(Taylor's Hist, Great Harrington, 12, 13.) These concurrent authorities establish the 
proper interpretation of the name beyond reasonable doubt, although fanciful attempts 
have been made to show that the original form of the word was Dutch, Westeuook. 
meaning " west corner." Smith's Hist. J'ittsfield, i. 16-21. But there is no apparent rea- 
son why the Dutch should have given the appellation "west corner " to a tract of land 
on their extreme eastern frontier, and hence this explanation, although supported by a 
chain of ingenious and plausible conjecture, can searcelv be admitted. 

I. l'age 33 ante. 

5. Page 37 ante, (notes 1 and 2.) 

40 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

may be conjectured that they re-established then* council-fire .it 
Wah-nah-ti-kook in the present town of Stoekbridge. That this 
place was in fact the capital of the Mahicau nation at the time 
of the first settlement of the English on the Ilousatonie would 

seem to admit of little doubt. 

Loskiel, the Moravian, — a most excellent authority on all mut- 
ters concerning the [ndians — writing from G-nadenhufcten, in 
Pennsylvania in 1751, says: — "Two deputies were likewise i -cut 
to the great council of the Mahican nation at Westenhuck. with 
which they appeared much pleased, and as a proof of their sat- 
isfaction made Abraham, an assistant at Gnadenhutten, a cap- 
tain." 1 President Dwight, writing of the Stoekbridge Indians 
in 17 ( .>3, says: — u This tribe was, both by itself and other trfbes, 
acknowledged to be the eldest hrancJt of their nation ; and as 
such regularly had precedence in their councils." Dr. Field 
states that " k although their number was now small, they belonged 
to a large tribe of Indians who had been commonly called by 
the English River Indians, some of whom lived in the north- 
west corner of Connecticut, and more at various places westward 
within the bounds of New York." 3 

Even more conclusive is the evidence contained in a treaty 
executed at the great council at Fort Stanwix in 176$, between 
the Mohawks and the Stoekbridge Indians, in which these na- 
tions agreed that the "just and true" boundary between their 
respective possessions was the Hudson river as far up as Port Ed- 
ward, and thence along Wood creek and Lake Cliamplain to the 
northward, and mutually released all pretensions which each 
may have had to lands on the opposite side of this boundary. 4 

1. Hist. Moravian Missions. Part Hi, p. 140. 

2. Dwight's Travels, ii, 307. 
Si Hist, of ISerkshire Co., £10. 

\. [n September 1708, pursuant to instructions from the Crown, a large number of 
Indians, comprising delegates from the six Nations, ahawnees, Delawares, Senecas. ami 
Mahieans, assembled at Fort Stanwix, the present site of Rome, N. Y., for the purpose of 
entering into a treaty with the Commissioners of Pennsylvania. New .Jersey and Vir- 
ginia, and Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian affairs, to settle a boundary 
line between the Colonies and the Indians. A report of the proceedings at this treaty. 
in the form of a journal, is in New York Col. 1 list, viii, 111-137. In this occurs the fol- 
lowing entry: — " 30th [September.] The Hounds between the Mohawks and the stork- 
bridge Indians were adjusted to mutual satisfaction and the latter returned home."" In 
IKS I, the author by accident discovered in the Connecticut State archives at Hartford, a 
Ms. copy of the agreement referred to, the only one known to be in existence.^ It i> in 
Indians, ii, ^25. A copy of this interesting document is printed in the appendix. The 
signers in behalf of the Stoekbridge nation an? .Jacob Naunauinphtauue, John Kon- 
Lapot and Solomon Unhaunaunwaunut, three of the principal sachems. 

The Western Boundary ofi Massachusetts, 


The Mahicans, therefore, were no unworthy occupants of the 
heantiful region which constituted their ancient possessions. 
From first to last they resolutely maintained their independence, 

and on all occasions seem to have proved themselves fully a 
match for the confederated warriors of the west. 

The subsequent history of the Mahicanor Stockbridge nation 
lias been written by abler pens than mine, find I need not there- 
fore dwell upon it. The inscription upon the monument which 
pious and reverent hands have reared above their dust in the 
old Indian burial ground at Stockbridge: — "The ancient burial 
place of the Stockbridge Indians, the friends of our fathers," — 
is a well-deserved tribute to the memory of a noble race. They 
welcomed the explorer Hudson with hospitable entertainment 
when he first set foot upon our shores; they guarded the infant 
settlements of the Ilousatonic from the blood-thirsty hordes of 
northern invaders, and averted from their friends and neighbors 
the merciless destruction which fell upon the unhappy dwellers 
in the Connecticut valley in the French and Indian war. Above 
all, let it not be forgotten that when the hour came in which our 
fathers were compelled to take up arms in defence of their liber- 
ties, Captain Solomon Wahauuwanwanmeet, the chief of the 
Stockbridge nation, in the presence of the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies, pledged the fealty of his tribesmen in the 
memorable words: — "Wherever you go, we will be by your 
sides; our bones shall lie with yours. We are determined 
never to be at peace with the red-coats while they are at vari- 
ance with you. If we are conquered our lands go with yours ; 
but if you are victorious, we hope you will help us to recover 
our just rights." 1 Let history tell bow on many a well-fought 
field this brave and generous people redeemed the pledge of 
their chosen leader. 

In lG2i> the Council of the West India Company granted im- 
portant concessions to such as should plant colonies in New 

1. In April, 1774, the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts sent a message addressed 
to "Captain Solomon Ahhannnanwanmnt, chief sachem of the Moheakounuck Indians" 
at Stockbridge, apprising them oi the probable outbreak of hostilities, and expressing a 
desire for continued friendly relations with his nation. In reply Captain Solomon visited 
boston, and delivered a notable speech, pledging the fealty of his tribe (Uuttenber's 
Indians of Hudson's River, J3W), 270). When the alarm came from Lexington, they took 
the field and participated in the battle of Bunker Hill. Subsequently Captain Solomon 
renewed his pledge at the meeting of the council at Albany, in the eloquent language of 
Which an extract is given above.- Col. Hist. N. Y., viii, tivlJ, 1527. 

42 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Netherlands These persons were authorized to purchase from 
the Indians such tracts, as they might desire, ami were legally 
invested with feudal rights over the lives and persons of their 

colonists or subjects. 1 Under this privilege Killiaen Van Rcns- 
selaer, a wealthy pearl merchant of Amsterdam, purchased in 
1G30,~ and at different times thereafter, a tract extending ^4 
miles along the Hudson river from Beeren island to the mouth 
of the Mohawk, and 24 miles west and the same distance east 
from the river,. comprising nearly all of the present counties nf 
Albany and Rensselaer, in the state of New York. This grant 
was known in colonial times as the Manor of Rensselaerwyek. 3 
For many years Van Rensselaer's colony was the most prosper- 
ous portion of New Amsterdam. An extensive trade in furs 
was carried on with the natives, the profits of which for the 
most part found their way into the coffers of the ki patroon" or 
lord of the manor. 

The Dutch authorities in New Netherland were from an 
early day in continual trouble with the people of Connecticut 
in respect to their boundaries. The pretensions of the Hollan- 
ders to the country west of Connecticut river were treated by 
the New England settlers with ill-concealed contempt. Weare 
quaintly told that the West India Company in 1030, " did cause 
to be purchased by one Hans Van Per Sluys, a certain place 
called Ki vitshoeck, (Saybrook Point) as their High Mightinesses' 
arms were affixed to a tree at that place in token of possession ; 
the English not only pulled them down but even carved a buf- 
foon's face in their stead, in gross contempt and disregard of their 
High Mightinesses; and although satisfaction was repeatedly 
demanded for this nought has resulted or could be obtained. ,M 
At last after a lengthy controversy a boundary was fixed by ami- 
cable agreement (in September 11), 1050, it being provided that 
all the settlements made by the Connecticut people along Hie 
sound as far as, and including the present town of Greenwich, 
should be given up to the English, and thus peace in that 
quarter was temporarily restored. 5 

1. Hrodliead's Hist. New York, i, 194 ; O'Oallaghan's New Netherland, i, 112. 

2. New York Col. Hist., i, 44. 

3. See map of Manor of Kensselaerwyck, Doe. Hist. New York, iii. facing p. CIO. 

4. New York Col. Hist, i, 500. 

f>. Brod head's Hist, New York, i, 520 ; Trumbull's Hist. Conn., i, 191; O'Callaghau's 
New Netherland, H, 151, ir>a. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 43 

The boundary disputes with Massachusetts appear to have 
commenced in 1651), in which year a grant of land was made by 
the General Court of the Province of Massachusetts Bay of cer- 
tain lands opposite Fort Orange. An exploring party was sent 
out, which spent several weeks in an examination of the shores 
of the Hudson river, but its commander received very little en- 
couragement from the Dutch Governor Stuyvesant, and lie re- 
turned without effecting anything of importance. 1 Massachu- 
setts however still persisted in her claim that the upper part of 
Hudson's river was covered by her patent, though it is difficult 
to conjecture with what show of reason, inasmuch as the river 
had beyond question been discovered and colonized by \\iv 
Dutch, and moreover a proviso in the patent itself, in the most 
explicit terms, declared it void in respect to any territory in 
the possession of the Dutch prior to Nov. 3, 1620, the date upon 
which the charter passed the great seal. 2 

In September, 1664, the colony of New Netherland, the ter- 
ritories of which, with the most utter disregard and violation of 
all international comity, had been granted by Charles II, to his 
brother, the Duke of York, was conquered and fell into the 
hands of the English by the surrender of New Amsterdam. 
The name of the province was changed to New York, while to 
Beverwyek was given the name of Albany. In August 1073, 
the colony was recaptured by the Dutch, but was restored to 
the English' by treaty the following February, and from this 
time forward the authority of the English in New York was 
never questioned by any European power. 

The reduction of New Amsterdam in 1664 was effeeted by 
an expedition under the command of Col. Richard Nicolls, 
with whom were associated Sir Robert Carr, Col. George Cart- 
wright and Samuel Maverick, as royal commissioners to visit 
the several colonies in New England. The main object of 
sending out this commission appears to have been, to secure 
such alterations in the charters of the several New England col- 
onies as would give to the crown the appointment of their gov- 
ernors and of the commanders of their militia, but in addition 

1. Hrodhead's Hist. New York, i, 654, 055. 

■i. Hutchinson's Hist. Massachusetts, i, 150; LJrodhead's Hist. New York, i, G55. 

44- Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

to this they were entrusted with various other power.-, among 
which was that of determining the boundaries between the dif- 
ferent colonies in disputed cases. 1 Immediately after the estah- 
lislnuent of the Duke's government in New York in 1664, the 
commissioners accordingly proceeded to execute the somewhat 
delicate duty of settling the boundary between that province 
and Connecticut, which after much discussion with the repre- 
sentative of the last mentioned colony, was finally placed at a 
general distance of about %) miles east of Hudson's river." It 
is necessary to pass over much of interest in connection with 
this negotiation, and to state what is sufficient for the present 
purpose, that the line was not wholly surveyed and marked out 
until as late as L731. 3 The northwest corner of Connecticut 
was then established at a point 20 miles distant from Hudson's 
river. 1 This point was marked by a heap of stones, which has 
ever since been known as "Connecticut old corner " and has 
formed an important reference point in many subsequent sur- 
veys. In pursuance of the agreement between the province.-. 
Connecticut ceded to New York, at the same time, a strip along 
her western border known as the " oblong, " the width of 
which was ".One Mile, three-quarters of a Mile, twenty-one rod, 
and five links," which established the actual northwest corner of 
Connecticut, that distance further to the eastward. No change 
has since been made in the actual position of this corner. 

The king's commissioners seem to have been of the opinion 
that the principle agreed upon for the Connecticut boundary 
was equally applicable to that of Massachusetts, the "just lim- 
its" of which colony say they, k * ye Commissioners find to be. 
Seconnet Brook on ye South West and Merrimack River on ye 
North East, and two right lines drawn from each of these two 

1. The letter of instructions from Charles I. to the commissioners maybe found at 
length in New York Col. Hist., iii, 51-54. 

2. New York Col. Hist, iii, 10(3 ; General Entries OIs.i Office N. V. Sec'y State, i, 70. 

3. New Ycrk Sen. Doc. 1857, (No. 1(35.) p. HiG; Conn. Private Laws, ii, 1£«. The 
agreement between the commissioners contains a detailed report of the work of the sur- 
vey, and may be found in N. Y. Sen. Doc, 1857, No. 11}."), p lliti. 

1. This distance was measured directly upon the surface of the ground, with an al- 
lowance of IX! rods per mile added, to bring it to an approximately horizontal measure- 

5. The geographical position of this corner, according to the latest determination of 
Prof. 11. F. Walling is bat. 42 deg., rJO min., 59.0 sec, and Long. 73 deg.. 31 min.. 1S.7 sec. 

(3. New York Sen. Doc,, 1857, No. 165, p. 173, 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 45 

places till it conies to Hudson's River; for that is already 

planted and given to His Royall Highness." 1 

This semi-official declaration of the extent of the western 
limits of the Massachusetts Bay was made by the royal coininis- 
sioners in \§($± or '65. It of course became known to the pro- 
vincial authorities, who doubtless depended upon it as a justifi- 
cation, if any were needed, of their subsequent action in grant- 
ing lands to settlers in the ILousatonic valley to the eastward of 
the boundary thus indicated. 

The first settlement which was established in the neighbor-' 
hood of Fort Orange, outside the limits of the patent of llens- 
selaerwyck, was at Kinderhook, where there appears to have 
been some few dwellers as early as 1.650.~ The Indian trail 
eastward from Fort Orange passed through this settlement, and 
Westenhook or Ilousatonic, and thence over the mountains to 
Springfield, and so on to Massachusetts Bay. It was known to 
the Dutch as u the New England path" and to the dwellers in 
the Connecticut valley as "the Bay path." 

Among the settlers at Kinderhook before 17<>U were Oonraet 
Borghghardt 3 and Elias Van Schaak or Scoick, who were exten- 
sively engaged in the fur trade with the natives eastward along 
the .New England path. They were both conversant with the 
native language, and undoubtedly became acquainted with the 

1. New York Col. Hist., iii, 112. 

2. The Kinderhook tract was purchased from the Indians, Aug. 14, 1068, and patented 
in part by Gov. Dongan to -Jan Hendrick I)e Bruyn, Dee. 1(5, 108(5. The Kinderhook 
patent proper was granted hy Oov. Nicolls, Mar. 14, 1687.— New York Archives, Book vi, 
Patents, pp. 154-156. 

:i t'onreat Borghghardt was born about 1(577, and was one of the early inhabitants of 
Kinderhook. He may have been a native of Holland. lis is mentioned as a prominent 
citizen of K. in 1703, and in 1720, ami appears to have lived near the river, north of Kin- 
derhook. creek, in what is now Stuyvesant. In 1717 he become involved in a dispute 
with Van Kensselaer in respect to land titles, and doubtless as a result of this, allied 
himself with the interests of the New Kngland settlers in the Ilousatonic valley. Being 
well acquainted with the Indians and conversant with their language and customs, he 
was employed by the settling committee in 1724, to negotiate the purchase of the lands 
forming the southern portion of Berkshire county, lie had a large family of sons and 
daughters, and about 17^4. he removed to the Ilousatonic settlement bringing his family 
with him. His homestead occupied a site about fifteen rods south of the Sedg- 
wick Institute in Great Harrington, but he owned besides, several hundred acres of 
the best lands now within (iivat Harrington and Egremont. He was a man of great in- 
telligence, enterprise, and public spirit, as well as of sturdy integrity, and judging from 
his autograph, was a man of good education for those times. The maiden name of his 
wife was Oesie Van Wye. Their descendants are still numerous in Southern Berkshire, 
although the name is now commonly written Burghardtor Burget. Mr. Borghghardt 
died about 1750, and was undoubtedly buried in the vicinity of others of his family in the 
south burial ground at Great Barrington. It is to be regretted that no suitably inscribed 
monument perpetuates the memory of this sturdy patriarch, who may fairly be entitled 
to be called the founder of the Ilousatonic colony. For many interesting particulars of 
his life see Taylor's History of Great Barrington, 107-110. 

46 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

valley of the Housatonie at a very early period, a« it l;iv at 
a distance of not mure than a day's journey from Kinderhook. 
In the spring of 1717 Borghghardt and Van ttchaak made 
application to the Governor of New York for a license to pur- 
chase 4,000 acres of land comprised in a tract lying southeast of 
the patent which had been granted to the inhabitants of Kinder- 
hook in 1(583, and west of the limits of the Westenhook pa- 
tent. 1 The land was duly laid out by the government surveyor 
in the fall of the same year, 2 but was immediately claimed by 
Henry A r an Rensselaer as he alleged by virtue of a prior pa- 
tent, 3 a claim which led to a controversy the ultimate results of 
which were far from unimportant. 

In order to understand the mutual relations of the different 
land patents in this region granted prior to 1720, it will he nec- 
essary to refer briefly to their histories. In L0S2, a tract of 
land previously purchased from the native owners in behalf of 
the proprietor or patroon of Rensselaerwyck, was continued to 
Stephen Van Cortland, director of the manor or colony. This 
tract, known as Pothook, was described in the Indian (\d\n\ as 
extending along the river from a certain kill north of Claverack, 
to a kill called Wagan-kassek, eastward "half a day's journey" 
to the "high woodland" Wawanaquasik, and northward to 
the before mentioned kill of Claverack. 1 Wawanaquasik 5 is 
to this day a well-known landmark, situated between nine and 
ten miles from the river, "where the Indians have laid several 

1. New York Lund Papers, (Ms.) vi, 13!>. 

2. Ibid. vi. 161, 173,174. 

3. Ibid, viii, 156. 

4. Holgate's Amer. Genealogy. 38. 

:>. Wawanaquassick, "where the heaps of stones lye, " has its plural in wa-wa ; iia 
signifies "* good ;" quas is "stone" or "stones," and icA "place." (Ituttenber's Indians 
of Hudson's River. 373.) This landmark is hist mentioned in the deed of confirmation 
given to Stephen Van Cortland by four Indians, on the 13th of Oct. 16&J. for the tract 
afterwards called the Claverack Manor. (Ilolgate's Amer, Genealogy. 3S | And again 
In the patent of Livingston, granted by Governor Dongan, (Doc. Ilist. New York, iii, mi.) 
It now marks an angle in the boundary between the townships of Claverack and Tagh- 
ka'.ick, Columbia county, N. Y. It was common among the aborigines to erect these 
commemorative heaps of stones, it being an immemorial custom among them, lor each 
person passing to add his contribution to the pile. No satisfactory explanation of the 
origin or reason of the custom has ever been given. The Indians were often ques- 
tioned as to it, but were invariably reluctant to talk about it. There were many of 
these 1 monuments in different places, and it is not unlikely that they were ii. tended for 
boundaries. They have invariably been located alongside a trail or much traveled path, 
and usually, though not always, near a spring or stream of water. For further informa- 
tion on this subject with accounts of different monuments, seethe narrative of Gideon 
llawley, Indian missionary, in Doc. Hist. New York, iii, (530 ; Taylor's Hist, t.reat Har- 
rington, 13-18 ; Dwight's Travels, ii, 38~\ 

27ie Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 47 

heaps of stone together by ancient custom used among them." 1 
A north line from this point to Claverack creek would have in- 
cluded some 23,000 acres. Van Rensselaer's agents however, 
perhaps by calling in the aid of a long-distance pedestrian of 
surpassing ability, extended the "half day's journey" no less 
than '24: miles, to the continence of the Ilousatomc and Green 
rivers, and then claimed to a line extending thence to the source 
of Kinder liook creek, in what is now Hancock, embracing not 
only the greater part of the present county of Columbia, but a 
considerable section of southwestern Berkshire. By means of 
this barefaced fraud, some 175,000 acres of land which had 
never been purchased from the Indians at all, were included in 
the survey and consequently within the limits of the patent 
granted by Governor Dongan in 16&3. 2 This patent was there- 
after known as the Claverack or lower manor, but by the terms 
of the grant, the inhabitants were not subject to the feudal 
conditions of the upper manor or colony of Rensselaerwyck. 3 
Killiaen Van Rensselaer, to whom the Claverack manor de- 
scended by entail, conveyed it in 1704: to his brother Ilendrick 
from whom it passed to his eldest son John, 4 who ultimately 
found it a most vexatious and troublesome inheritance. It ap- 
pears therefore that the Van Rensselaer patent of 1GS3 was the 
earliest grant embracing any portion of the territory within the 
Ilousatonic Valley. 

Among the officials at Albany at this period was a shrewd and 
enterprising young Scotchman by the name of Robert Living- 
ston, 5 who held the position of town clerk and secretary for In- 

1. 634. 

2. New York Archives (Ms.) lxxvii, 92 A warrant for the survey of this tract for Hend- 
riek Van Rensselaer is in New York Land Papers (.Ms.) viii, 43, and the return of the sur- 
vey, with map, by .lames Livingston, deputy surveyor, may be found, ibid, viii, 72. This 
survey was made in 1721, and the boundaries are given as above. 

: J >. o'Callaghan's New Netherland. ii, 1H5. 

4. John or Johannes Van Rensselaer, b. 1711, d. 1983, was son of Ilendrick V. R., and 
father-in law of Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler. Iiolgate's Amer. Genealogy, 44. 

5. Robert Livingston, first proprietor of the manor, was b. in Ancram, Scotland, in 
1654, emigrated to America in 1674, and settled in Albany, lie tilled numerous public 
offices ; was Secretary for Indian affairs, Member of the Executive Council, and speaker 
of the Provincial Assembly, Mayor of Albany, etc. A biographical sketch of him says 
that "he died about the year 1728, ha VhlJEf been with few intermissions, the recipient of 
public favor and patronage from his tirst arrival in America to the close of his career, 
lie was a man of unquestionable shrewdness, perseverance and of large acquisitiveness. 
His main efforts seem to have been directed principally to securing for himself office, 
wealth and special privileges, and every opportunity was seized by him to get the gov- 
ernment and the legislature lo recognize bis manor of Livingston." The larger part of 
the manor was devised by him to his eldest son Philip.— Doc. Hist. New York, lii, 725- 
728, i note). 

48 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

dian affairs as early as 1075. lie performed tlte duties of this 
important office for nearly fifty years, and in that capacity ac- 
quired much information in respect to valuable lands still in the 
possession of the natives, — information, which as the sequel will 
show, lie soon managed to turn to excellent account for Ins own 
interest. On November 12, 1680, Governor And ross approved 
his petition for leave to purchase land on the east side of 
Hudson's river, 1 and on the i2th of July, 1683, he procured a 
deed from the Mahican owners of a tract on Roeloff Jansen's 
kill adjacent to the river, having a front of about ten miles and 
extending eastward!) 7 " to a cripple bush by the Indians called 
Al a/utskakook." 2 This locality, there is reason to believe, was 
about twelve miles east of the river. On November 4, 1(>83, 
Governor Dongan issued a patent for the land thus purchased." 
In the spring of 16S5 Livingston presented another petition to 
Governor Dongan, in which he set forth his disappointment in 
respect to the character of the preceding purchase, which " after a 
view and Survey thereof proves much Contrare to Expectation, 
very Little being fitt to be Improoved, and whereas there is a 
Peece of Land Lyeing upon ye Same Kill called by the Indians 
Tachkanick bebinde Patkook about Two or 300hund aero, 
which in time might Proove a Convenient setlement for your 
hour humble Petitioner, he therefore humbly Prays That your 
hour would be Pleased to grant him a Lycence to Purchase ye 
Same of ye native Proprietors, who are willing to dispose 
thereof to your honr humble Petitioner," etc. Upon this peti- 
tion "200 acres of ye said land was granted," and Livingston 
accordingly received a deed from the Indians on August loth, 
of the same year, and on August 27th, Governor Dongan con- 
tinued by patent the purchase as described in the Indian deed. 4 
The next year, Livingston again petitioned the governor to 
unite his two former purchases under a " patent of confirmation " 
constituting the same manor of Livingston and conferring feu- 
dal privileges upon the proprietor, which was granted by the 
governor, and the patent issued July 23, 1G86. 5 The next year 

1. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 628. 

•J. Ibid, iii. til:*. 

;i. Ibid, iii, 015. 

4. Ibid, iii, 017. 

5. Ibid, iii, 0-jv>-6-,>7. 

The Western Boundary of MaftsaeKusetts. 49 

Livingston purchased from the natives certain additional lands 
west and south of Oopake lake. 1 

The petitions for these patents were artfully worded by Liv- 
ingston so as to convey the false impression that both the origi- 
nal grants taken together would comprise but a little over 2,500 
acres, but the; boundaries, apparently by intention, were de- 
scribed by natural objects under their aboriginal names, and 
actually encompassed a vast tract, containing at least 175,000 
acres and embracing fully one-third of the present county of Co- 
lumbia. The manor, as afterwards surveyed, included a consid- 
erable portion of the arable land comprised within the limits of 
the present town of Mount Washington.- There does not ap- 
pear to be a particle of evidence that Livingston ever purchased 
the last mentioned land from the Indians, or indeed any consid- 
erable portion of the tract which now forms the northeastern 
section of Copake, although he had caused them to be included 
within his manorial grant. This was an eminently characteristic 
piece of sharp practice, which was destined to cause Livingston's 
descendants no small amount of trouble. 

Thus for a consideration of 030 guilders in wampum, equiva- 
lent to $875, and some $200 additional in axes, kettles, knives, 
blankets and other like commodities, Robert Livingston ob- 
tained for himself and his successors the perpetual sovereignty 
over this princely domain, and inasmuch as in the words of his 
" humble petition, 11 he had ''been at Vast Charges and Expence 
in Purchaseing the said Tracts and Parcells of Land from the 
native Indians and alsoe in Settling and Improveing the same," 
he was only required to pay to the crown an annual quit-rent of 
28 shillings. But as he afterwards re-conveyed to the crown 
0,000 acres in consideration of ,£400 sterling, he must have re- 
ceived reimbursement for his " Vast Charges and Expence," so 
that the remaining 169,000 acres, became virtually a free gift 
from the royal government. 3 

On July 17, 17o5, Peter Schuyler, Derrick Wessells and sev- 

1. Doc. Hist. Now York, iii, G28. 

2. See map of a survey by John Beatty, Dep. surveyor of New York, October A), 1714, 
a fae simile of Which is in Doc. Hist. New York, iii, facing p. (i!M). 

3. This tract now constitutes the town of (rermantown and was purchased by the 
crown for a colony of (icrinan Palatines. Many documents relative to this settlement 
may be found in Doc. Hist. New York, vol. iii. 

50 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

oral other persons holding offices of trust and profit nnc)er Hie 
New York government, petitioned for a patent for certain 

tracts of land lying on a creek called WeHtenhook, beginning al 
an Indian burying place." hard by Kaphack," thence running 
up northerly on both sides the said creek to a fall or rift of the 
same called Sasigtonack, 1 and extending into the woods west- 
erly to the bounds of Kinderhook and Patkook, together with 
another tract of land also lying on Westenhook creek, extend- 
ing on both sides from Sasigtonack northerly to another rift 
called Packwake, and thence westerly to the bounds of the 
Manor of Kinderhook and Rensselaerwyck. This patent is al- 
leged to be based upon purchases made from the natives, some 
as early as 1085, and others in 17<>3 and 1704.- It is difficult to 
determine the extent of this grant from the somewhat obsclire 
description given in the patent granted to the petitioners on. 
September 29, 1705, but it is quite certain that its southerly 
boundary was the stream now called Salmon creek, which joins 
the llousatonic near Lime Pock station Connecticut. It extended 
north to the limestone gorge through which the river flows be- 
tween Glendale and Stockbridge, which can be identified as 
Pack-was-ehe or Packwake* and included all the territory to a 
line four miles east of the river north of the present north line 
of Sheffield. By the conditions expressed in the grant the pa- 
tentees were required to clear and make improvements upon 
some portion of the lands granted within six years, and to pay 
to the crown an annual quit-rent of £7 P>s. 

It appears therefore that the Westenhook patent, being lim- 
ited in a westerly direction by the prior patents of Patkook and 
Kinderhook, did not in fact comprise any very large amount 
of the territory now in Massachusetts west of the llousatonic 
river. No evidence lias been discovered tending to show: that 
any actual improvements were ever made under the auspices of 
the patentees, in compliance with the terms of the grant. 

The petition of Borghghardt and Van Scoick in 1717, for the 
purchase of lands south of the Kinderhook patent, appeal's to 

1. Sasigto?iae, signifying " water splashing over rocks." Taylor identifies this as the 
falls in the upper part of Great Harrington village.— Hist. Great Harrington, :>. 

2. New York Land Capers (Mss.). iv, 58: Taylor's Hist, (ireat Harrington, 2. 

3. I'uck-wukt', a term signifying a bend or elbow, in allusion to the uliange from a 
westerly to a southerly course which occurs in the river at (his point. It is the place 
where I he unfinished grade line of the Lee and Hudson railroad crosses the rivir a short 
distance above Glendale. 

The Western Boundary of Jtfassachusetts. 51 

have given rise to a controversy with Henry Van Rensselaer, 

the proprietor of the lower manor, which continued for many 
years. 1 This circumstance renders it highly probable that Bor- 
ghghardt, who seems to have been a man of unusual intelligence 
and enterprise, and possessed of an intimate knowledge of tin; 
Westenhook region, determined to enter into the negotiations 
with some of the prominent men in western Massachusetts, 
witli the understanding that lie would co-operate with them in 
extending the settlements under that government into the val- 
ley of the Westenhook or Ilousatonic. Some scheme of this 
nature must certainly have been under consideration in the Gen- 
eral Court of Massachusetts as early as 1710, for on November 
10th of that year it was voted that, "Whereas the divisional 
line and boundary between this province and the province of 
New York have never been run, marked out and stated ; and 
new plantations are issuing forth from that government as well 
as this; ordered that Samuel Thaxter, William Dudley and 
John Stoddard, Esq., be a committee to join with such as the 
government of New York shall appoint, to run and settle the 
divisional line and boundary between said provinces pursuant 
to their legal grants. 1 '- A copy of this resolution was duly 
transmitted to the governor of New York. The action of the 
General Court may have been prompted by information received 
from Borghghardt, and it may also have been due to a knowl- 
edge of the fact that the western boundary of Connecticut had 
been agreed upon, and was about to be definitely surveyed and 
established at a distance of twenty miles east of Hudson's river. 
It was obviously the policy of Massachusetts to extend her plan- 
tations westward to a corresponding distance as soon as possible, 
and thus establish a prior claim to the territory by virtue of 
actual occupancy and settlement, a policy which had been con- 
sistently and successfully pursued on the part of Connecticut. 
Two years more elapsed before anything definite was done. In 
May, 1 7^2, two petitions were presented signed by 176 inhabi- 
tants of Hampshire county asking for grants of lands on the 
Ilousatonic river, 3 which were favorably responded to, and a 
resolution passed and approved by the governor on the 30th of 

1. New York Land Papers (Mss.). viii, 156; xxiv, 15; xxxiii, 4. 

x!. .Massachusetts (Jen. Court Records. 

:}. Field's Hist. Berkshire Co., ;>01 ; Taylor's Hist. Great Barrington, 14. 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

June, granting to the petitioners two townships, each containing 
seven miles square, on the Iiousatonic river, the first adjacent 

to the divisional lino between Massaehusetts and Connecticut, 
which had been run and marked in LT17, 1 and the second im- 
mediately adjacent thereto on the north. A committee was ap- 
pointed to lay out lands, admit settlers, extinguish the Indian 
title and generally to manage the affairs of the plantations.* 

On the 25th of April, 1724, the settling committee met Kon- 
kapot and nineteen other Indian owners of the territory, at 
Westtield, Conraet Borghardt acting as interpreter, and a deed 
was executed by them, conveying with certain reservations a 
tract extending four miles east of the river, bounding south on 
the colony line, north on "ye great .Mountain known by ye 
name of M au-shu-fee-h an nk"' d and westward " on ye Patten or 
Colony of New York." 4 

A somewhat remarkable fact connected with this deed i>, 
that the Indians warranted the title to be free of all incum- 
brances, an unusual provision in such instruments, which would 
seem to indicate that the grantors regarded the prior sales al- 
leged to have been made to the Westenhook patentees as null 
and void. An examination of the petition for the Westenhook 
grant suggests, to say the least, the possibility of fraud. It re- 
cited that the petitioners had advanced money and goods to the 
Indian proprietors of certain lands at Westenhook, who had 
inortjmged the premises to them, and that the Indians beinir im- 
able to repay the sums thus advanced, the petitioners had "con- 
descended" to make further advances and take deeds of the 
lands. 5 It has always been a circumstance difficult of explana- 
tion, that the wealthy owners of such a valuable tract as AVe>t- 
enhook never appear to have attempted to establish a single 
settler on it, and so far as is known, never made the slightest 
attempt to enforce their rights except by bringing suits for tres- 
pass against some of the first individuals who claimed under the 
Massachusetts jmint. 6 But if the Indian title was obtained bv 

1. Conn. Archives, (Mss.) Colonial Boundaries, iii ; Bowen's Boundary Disputes, 59. 

2. Taylor's Uist. Great Harrington, 14. 

3. Probably the elevation now known as Rattlesnake Hill, in Stocklnidjre. 

4. Field's Uist. Berkshire County, 301 ; Taylor's Uist. Ureal Harrington, 15. A copy of 
the deed is printed in the appendix of Taylor p. 488, and also in N. E. Gen. and Uist. 
Keg., viii, 215. 

5. Taylor's Uist. Great Barrington, 2. 
0. Ibid, 25. 

The Western Jloandarij of * Massachusetts. 53 

fraud or compulsion, these honorable New York gentlemen 
knew very well that no moil's scalp would he sale, who at- 
tempted to settle under it. Conraet Borghghardt must liave 
been conversant with thefacts in the case, and everything which 
we know of the character of that sturdy pioneer forbids lis to 
suppose that he would have been a party to the conveyance at 
Westfield, if the prior purchase by the Westenhook patentees 
of a large part of the same territory had been a Ijonafide trans- 

There are many evidences that the Indians felt deeply ag- 
grieved by the fraud which had been practiced upon them by 
Van Itensselaer, Livingston, and the Westenhook patentees, of 
including within their limits large tracts of land which had never 
been honorably purchased or paid for. Captain Hendriek Au- 
paumut, 1 who succeeded Captain Konkapot as chief of the Ma- 
hican or Stockbridge nation, in an eloquent address to the Gov- 
ernor of New York at the Albany conference in 1754, tells the 
story of the wrongs of his countrymen in a forcible and elfec- 
tive manner. 

" Fathers : We are greatly rejoiced to see you all here. It is 
by the will of Heaven that we are met here, and we thank you 
for this opportunity of seeing you together, as it is a long time 
since we have had such an one. 

" Fathers : Who sit present here, we will just give you a short 
relation of the long friendship which hath subsisted between 
the white people of this country and us. Our forefathers had 
a castle on this river. As one of them walked out he saw 
something on the river, but was at a loss to know what it was. 

1. ('apt. Uendriek Aupaumut, who was perhaps the ablest and most distinguished in- 
vidual of his nation, first appeared in history as the speaker in the conference between 
the Mahicans and the Mohawk embassadors during the war of 174(3. Nothing appears to 
be known of his birth and parentage. His eloquent and able address to the governor of 
New York, whieh we reproduce in full, and his stirring and patriotic speech to the com- 
missioners of the Continental Congress at Albany in 1771, shows the spirit in which him- 
self and his people espoused the cause of their friends, the New England colonists. He 
welcomed the missionaries among his people, impressing upon them a recognition of his 
worth, even while refusing to unite with the con verts. During the French war he served 
faithfully and returned to his people with honor. After the revolution, in accord- 
ance with asucs;estion made by Rev. Mr. Kirkland to (Jen. Knox, then secretary of war, 
(April S22, 1791,) he was employed by the government on missions to the western tribes, 
and conducted important and successful negotiations with them, which unquestionably 
served to prepare the way for the victory of Tippecanoe. In the war of 1812, Captain 
Uendriek joined the American army, was favorably noticed, and promoted to an official 
posh ion. In all his multifarious public duties he never forgot his people, and one of his 
last acts was to write a history of his nation. In 18~'0 he removed to (ireen Bay. Wis., 
with the remnant of his tribe, where he was soon alter gathered to his fathers. The 
above particulars are mainly from Uuttenber's Indian Tribes of Hudson's Kiver, p. 3-,»0- 
•j5J5. See also Jones' Stockbridge Past and Present, and Stone's Life of Brant, ii, 307. 

54 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

He took it at first for a great fish. He ran into the castle and 

gave nutiee to the other Indians. Two of our forefather* went 
to see what it was, and found it a vessel with men in it. They 
immediately joined hands with the people in the vessel and he- 
came friends. The white people told them they should not 
come any further up the river at that time, and said to them 
they would return'baek whence they came and come again in a 
year's time. According to their promise they returned hack in 
a year's time, and came as far up the river as where the old fori 
stood. Our forefathers invited them on shore and said to them, 
here we will give you a place to make you a town ; it shall he 
from this place to such a stream, and from the river hack up to 
the hill. Our forefathers told them, though they were now ;i 
small people, they would in time multiply and till up the hind 
they had given to them. After they were ashore some time, 
some other Indians who had not seen them before looked 
fiercely at them, and our forefathers observing it, and seeing the 
white people so few in number, lest they should be destroyed, 
took and sheltered them under their arms. But it turned out 
that those Indians did not desire to destroy them, but wished 
also to have the wdiite people for their friends. At this time 
which we have now spoken of, the white people were small. 
but we were very numerous and strong. We defended them 
in that low state, but now the case is altered. You are numer- 
ous and strong; we are few and weak ; therefore we expect you 
to act by us in these circumstances as we did by you in those 
we have just now related. We view you now as a very large 
tree which has taken deep root in the ground ; whose branches 
are spread very wide. We stand by the body of this tree and 
we look around to see if there be any who endeavor to hurt it. 
and if it should so happen that any are powerful enough to de- 
stroy it we are ready to fall with it, 

a Fathers: You see how early we made friendship with you. 
we tied each other in a very strong chain. That chain has not 
yet been broken. We now clean and rub that chain to make it 
brighter and stronger, and we determine on our part that it 
shall never be broken, and we hope you will take care that nei- 
ther you nor any one else shall break it. And we are great lv 

The Western Bowidary of Massachusetts, 55 

rejoiced that peace and friendship have so long subsisted be- 
tween us. 

" Fathers: Don't think strange at what we are about to say. 
We would say something respecting our lauds. When the 
white people purchased from time to time of us, they said they 
only wanted to purchase the low lands; they told lis the hilly 
land was good for nothing, and that it was full of wood and 
stones; hut now we see people living all about the hills and 
woods although they have not purchased the lands. When we 
inquire of the people who live on these lands what right they 
have to them, they reply to us, that we are not to be regarded, 
and that these lands belong to the king ; but we were the first 
possessors of them, and when the king has paid us for them, 
then they may say they are his. Hunting now has grown very 
scarce, and we are not like to get our living that way. There- 
fore we hope our fathers will take care that we are paid for our 
lands that we may live." 1 

The significance of Captain Hendrick's remarks will appear 
when we come to discuss the controversies which arose in con- 
sequence of the wrongful appropriation of the lands referred 
to by the New York patentees. 

Conraet Borghghardt seems henceforth to have identified him- 
self wholly with the interests of the New England settlers. In 
1725, before the settling committee commenced operations at 
Ifousatonic, they employed him to measure the distance be- 
tween the Hudson and the Honsatonic rivers. Owing to vari- 
ous obstacles interposed by the Westenhook patentees, who by 
this time had discovered what, was going on, he had mucii dif- 
ficulty in securing a surveyor, but finally procured one from a 
distant point, who with the assistance of Mr. Borghghardt and 
his son, ultimately succeeded in measuring the line.- This meas- 
urement was undoubtedly made along the dividing line between 
the Livingston manor and the patent of Patkook, and was 
for the purpose of determining the position of the colonial 
boundary. Early in 1726, Messrs. Ashley and Pomeroy of the 
settling committee established the boundary between the two 

1. New York Col. Hist., vi, 881 ; Kuttenber's Indian Tribes of Hudson's River, 821. An 
interesting biographical sketch of Aupaumut is given in the last named work. See also 
.Jones' Ktoi'khridge Cast and Present. 

2. Massachusetts Archives, (Mss.) xlvi, 139; Taylor's Hist. Great Harrington, v!5. 

50 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society, 

townships — which it may be noted, corresponded exactly with 
that between two of the Westenhook tracts, and made a rough 
survey and division of the lower township. 1 The records arc 
silent as to the proceedings in the first year of the settlement, 
but it is certain that some pioneers found their way- to the val- 
ley as early as 1720, and one — Matthew Noble of Westficld — 
in 1725. 2 

The intelligence of this movement stirred np the Westenhook 
patentees. They commenced actions of trespass and ejectment 
against some of the settlers,- 5 and memorialized Governor Bur- 
net of New York, complaining of the encroachments on their 
property by the Massachusetts people. 4 A correspondence ensued 
between Governor Burnet and Governor Belcher of Massachu- 
setts, in which the former proposed that "no Innovations he 
made on the boundaries of the provinces, till they he settled 
either by Agreement, or order from Home." 5 This was assented 
to on the part of both governments, an order to that effect hav- 
ing been passed on December 2S, 1720, by the General Court 
of Massachusetts, while a like order was issued about the same 
time by the governor and council of New York. Tt was also 
directed that all actions already commenced by the patentees 
against the people of Westenhook be suspended until further 
orders. 7 Accordingly in May, 1727, the lieutenant governor of 
Massachusetts on the part of that colony issued instructions to 
the settling committee at Ilousatonic, prohibiting the further 
laying out of lands, or the prosecution of suits against the New 
York claimants. 8 This order greatly embarrassed, although it 
probably did not altogether arrest the progress of the settlement 
for \\\a next six years. The committee quaintly remark: "Ye 
settlement at Housatonunuck was for a considerable time much 
impeded and hindered; but afterwards many of ye settlers, by 
themselves or others, got upon ye land, and had ye encourage- 
ment of ye General Assembly." 9 A new committee was ap- 
pointed in the summer of 1738, which acting under the instruc- 

1. Taylor's Hist. Great Harrington, 17. 

2. Ibid, 102. 

3. Ibid, i*r,. 

•l. New York Land Papers, (Ms.), x, 4 ; Taylor's Hist. Great Harrington, 90. 

5. Gov. Burnet's letter, 1720, in .Mass. Archives. 

li. Massachusetts Gen. Court Records. 

7. New York Council Minutes (Ms.), xv. 139. 

S. Taylor's Hist. Great Harrington, 84. 

9. Records of Ilousatonic Proprietary (Ms.), i : Taylor's Hist. Great Barringtou, 25. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 57 

tions of tliu General Court, given apparently in utter disregard 
of the agreement which had been made with New York in 
1720, proceeded to parcel out the lands, and confirm the title to 
the proprietors in severalty. 1 During this period nothing what- 
ever had been done on the part of New York, in reference 
to the establishment of the boundary, although committees had 
been appointed for that purpose in 1730 and again in 173*2, by 
the General Court of Massachusetts. 2 

It is probable that in thus giving a tacit if not an open ap- 
proval to the proceedings at Ilousatonic, the members of the 
General Court presumed not only upon the fact that the West- 
enhook patentees could not, or would not, enforce their claims, 
but that the New York Assembly were in no wise anxious to 
incur the expense of settling the boundaries, doubtless for the 
reason that any territories that might be gained from Massa- 
chusetts, would inure to the benetit of the crown and not to 
that of themselves or their constituents. 

In 1739 Governor Belcher of Massachusetts wrote, to Lieu- 
tenant Governor Clarke of New Fork, that he had for nine 
years been urging the New York government to take some ac- 
tion in respect to the boundary, and that u if after so many Ap- 
plications from this Government to that of New York, for an 
Amicable Adjustment of the Boundaries betwixt them, they 
will not be persuaded to do what is so reasonable, and to pre- 
serve Peace and good Neighborhood; your people must be an- 
swerable, if any Inconveniences issue upon this Government's 
proceeding to settle such Lands as they judge they have a just 
Right to." 3 Upon the receipt of this communication Lieuten- 
ant Governor Clarke wrote to the Lords of Trade asking for in- 
structions from the king, and suggesting that a royal order be 
obtained forbidding any further surveys and settlements to be 
made upon the frontier by the New England people. 4 The 
Lords replied in substance that Massachusetts had acted too has- 
tily in the affair, and that they had directed the governor of 

1. Taylor's Hist. Oreat Barrington, 2ti. 

2. Records Mass. Ocn. Court. 

:i. New York Oen. Assera. Jour., 762. 

1. >Jew York Col. Hist. vi. 1 Vi. 


jBevlcslvire Historical and Scientific Society. 

that province to arrange the controversy amieably,imd there the 
iuatter rested. 1 

In 1T4(> the Massachusetts General Court again appointed 
boundary commissioners, but when its action was laid by the 
governor of r\ T ew York before his council, that body expressed 
the opinion that "as the soil of this province Ixelongs to his 
Majesty, his Honor cannot grant any power to the coinmis- 
sioner of this province to make any agreements the commis- 
sioner shall enter into conclusive, until the; same shall ill's! have 
received his Majesty's approbation." 2 

From this time no official action seems to have been taken for 
several years by either government. The settling committee at 
Ilousatonic had nevertheless proceeded with their work, and in 
1730, under instructions from the General Court, laid out the 
Indian township, now Stockbridge. 3 Meanwhile the settlers 
continued to improve their lands undisturbed \)\ the Westen- 
hook patentees. 

One of the most prominent of the early inhabitants of Shef- 
field was David Ingersoll; a man of ability and enterprise, hut 
aggressive, avaricious and mercenary ; one of those persons who 
manifest but little regard for the rights of others, so long as 
they themselves- can contrive to keep without the clutches of 
the law. As a trader in Springfield and Brookfield, Ingersoll 
had apparently accumulated some property before his removal 
to Sheffield. From that time forward he was prominent m the 
history of the settlement as a most persistent and unscrupulous 
'"laud-grabber." In 173i), under a fraudulent title, he seized 
upon the valuable water-power now occupied by the JJerkshire 
Woolen Company at the north end of Great Harrington village, 
which had been expressly reserved by the settling committee as 
the joint property of the two townships for the general benefit 
of the townsmen, where he erected a saw and grist-mill and 
iron-works. He obtained for himself the office of clerk of the 
proprietors of the township, and was commissioned a justice of 
the peace. These various circumstances afforded Ingersoll un- 

1. Ibid, vi, 149. 

•I. New York Council Minutes (Ms.), xix, 07. 

3. Field's Hist. Berkshire Co., ^10. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 59 

usual scope for his dishonest proclivities, and it may be pre* 
sinned that he di<l not fail to improve his opportunities, for ivc 
find that in 1 74*. > lie was ejected from the clerkship of the pro- 
prietary, doubtless for excellent reasons, and was thereafter 
compelled to seek other fields for the exercise of Ins peculiar 
abilities. 1 

Sometime prior to 1743, Philip Livingston, 2 son of the origi- 
nal proprietor of the Livingston manor, erected a blast furnace, 
forge and foundry at Ancram on RoelifT Jansen's kill. 3 The 
ore for supplying the works was obtained partly from what is 
now known as the "'old bed' 1 at Salisbury, Connecticut, and 
partly at other points along the western base of the Taconic 
mountain farther north, in which region a scattered frontier set- 
tlement of ore-diggers, charcoal-burners and farmers soon began 
to grow up. Some few of these straggling pioneers had found 
their way into the most remote and secluded parts of the manor, 
at least two or three families having established themselves in 
the elevated valley between the eastern and western ridges of 
the Taconic range, now forming the central portion of the town 
of Mount Washington. This territory, although embraced 
within the original chartered limits of the manor, had never 
been alienated by its aboriginal owners, 4 but the settlers who 

1. Taylor's Hist. Great Barrington, 122, 123. 

2. Philip Livingston, second proprietor of the manor, eldest son of Robert L. and Alida 
Schuyler, widow or Rev. N. Van Rensselaer, wash, at Albany, 108G. In 1705, he accom- 
panied his mule Col. Vetch to Quebec, on a mission from the govt, of Mass. Bay to pro- 
cure an exchange of prisoners. Served in the Port lloyal expedition in 1710; appointed 
a commissioner of Indian affairs at Albany, 1720 ; became a member of the council in 
172r>: was commissioner from New York to meet with other commissioners to concert 
means for carrying on the war and securing alliance of the Indians, 1740, 1747. lie con- 
tinued in public life until his death in New York in 1749. lb' m. Catherine, daughter of 
Philip Van IJrugh, mayor of Albany, and had 2 sons and 3 daughters.— (Holgate's Am. 
Oenealogy.) In a report on the History of Iron manufacture in the U. S., (II. S. Census 
liep.. 1880, Art. Iron and Steel, p. 04,) it is stated that the Ancram works were set up by 
Philip L., "a signer of the Declaration of Independence," an error arising from the sim- 
ilarity of names. Philip appears to have been a man of a character very similar to that 
of his father. lie was apparently implicated in certain fraudulent purchases of lands 
from the Mohawks near Canajoharic, and which was the source of much subsequent 
trouble.— (stone's Life and Times of sir William Johnson, ii, 170-184.) On the death of 
Philip, the portion of the manor east of the Albany post road descended to his son 

3. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 707. 

4. It lias been asserted by several writers that the Stockbridge Indians in many in- 
stances sold lands twice over to interested parties, in utter disregard of former sales, as 
for examp! - in Stone's Life and Times of Sir William Johnson, ii, 39 ; but no evidence 
whatever is brought forward to sustain this charge, while on the other hand there is 
much to disprove it. Col. George Croghan, Deputy Supt. of Indian affairs under the 
crown, in an ofheial communication to the Lords of Trade, says: " It may bethought and 
said by some, that, the Indians are a faithless and ungrateful set of barbarians, and will 
not stand to any agreements they make with us ; but it is well known that they never 
claimed any right to a Tract of Country, after they sold it with the consent of their 
Council, and received any consideration, tho' never so trilling."— (Col. Hist. N. Y.. vii. 
Out ) This view of Indian character is consistent with the opinion held by all who were 
familiar with them, and had no interest in misrepresenting the facts. 

60 Berkshire Historical and Scientific, Society. 

were located upon it were none the less claimed l>v Robert Liv- 
ingston to be tenants, and were required to pay him an annual 

rental for the occupancy of their farms. 

In a lovely little valley lying in a secluded nook of the 
mountains, two miles east of the present village of Hillsdale, 
there dwelt as early as 1740, a somewhat numerous family by 
the name of Van Guilder, the various members of which are 
mentioned in the documents of the time as " Stoekbridge In- 
dians, 11 but it is most likely that they were the offspring of a 
Dutch father and an Indian mother. 1 Other individuals of the 
same family, and in fact the first of them who appears in his- 
tory, John Van Guilder, lived two or three miles eastward on 
the other side of the mountain in the locality still known a> 
Guilder Hollow. 2 The Van Guilders appear to have been some- 
what of the vagabond order, half farmers, half fishermen and 
hunters, and on their occasional visits to the settlements were 
apt to fall into temptation, and to consume more nun than was 
good for them, whereby it happened that they not infrequently 
fell under the purview of the local magistrates. It was perhaps 
by some such means as this that Esquire Ingersoll discovered 
that the Mahican ancestors of the Van Guilders had in fact 
never parted with their title to the lands on Taconic mountain 
and in the northeast corner of the manor of Livingston, and 
that there was also extensive tracts claimed by John Van Rens- 
selaer, comprised mostly within the present towns of Hillsdale, 
Austerlitz and Canaan, the Indian title to which had never been 
legally extinguished. He further ascertained that the Indians 
cherished a deep-seated resentment against the descendants and 
successors of the patentees who had defrauded them of these 
lands, a feeling which might easily be made an occasion for 
open hostility. 

Here was an opportunity for a land speculation on a grand 
scale for those times, and the ex-clerk of the Ilousatonic pro- 
prietary appears to have lost no time in setting the requisite 

1. Map of Portion of Livingsl on Manor (Ms.), Hudson Archives. Eight of this family 
are named among the grantees in the deed of Mar. ~'i), 17")?, (Springfield Records, i. llj 
which included this tract. 

2. (inildcr Hollow is in the southwestern part of Egremont and is a mere hamlet in- 
habited by a few farmers. 

The Western, Boundary of Massachusetts. 61 

machinery in motion to enable him to gratify his ruling pas- 
sion ; that of seizing the possessions and improvements of others 
under a colorable legal title. Accordingly we find strong evi- 
dence, tending to show that a combination— snch as the modern 
school of politicians Would call a "deal' 1 — was formed about 
the year 1751, which included a number of prominent citizens of 
western Massachusetts, the object of which was to procure deeds 
of these lands for a small compensation, from the legal repre- 
sentatives of the aboriginal owners, cause the same to be granted 
in townships by the General Court, to themselves and their asso- 
ciates, and then to colonize them with New England settlers, 
and extend over them the jurisdiction of Massachusetts Bay. 
There is sufficient evidence to establish the fact that this com- 
bination was pretty well represented among the honorable mem- 
bers of the General Court. It is not altogether gratifying to 
record the fact that leading citizens of Hampshire comity, snch 
as Colonel Oliver Partridge, Brigadier General Joseph Dwight, 
and Col. John Ashley, if not actively concerned with Ingersoll 
in the prosecution of this unjustifiable and illegal scheme, at 
least did not scruple to lend to it every assistance which their 
official positions in the provincial government and their high 
standing in the community, enabled them to do. 

The first step in the conspiracy was to employ emissaries to 
incite disaffection among the inhabitants in the eastern portions 
of the Livingston and Rensselaer manors. 1 This was easily ac- 
complished. These people already chafed under the exactions 
of their landlords and the continual taunts of their eastern 
neighbors, who, holding their lands in fee under the "Boston 
government" regarded them with unconcealed contempt as 
little better than slaves and vassals of the lords of the manors. 
These borderers, for the most part rude, ignorant and lawless, 
yet by no means lacking in personal independence and courage, 
were allured by promises that in case they would join in the 
proposed movement to establish the authority of Massachusetts 
over the disputed territory, they need pay no more rent to their 
feudal landlords, but that the absolute titles to the farms which 
they severally occupied would be confirmed to them on the 

1. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 774. 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

payment once for all of a nominal sum to the proprietary. 1 In- 
gersoll claimed that lie was acting under the authority of the 
Government of Massachusetts Hay, to which lie assured the ten- 
ants the lands in question belonged. 2 He urged them to resist 
the collection of rents by their landlords, a course wliieli some 
of the bolder spirits among them at once undertook to follow, 
among others Josiah Loomis and George Robinson, recent em- 
igrants from Connecticut, and Michael Uallenbeek, a tenant of 
thirty years standing. 3 

Robert Livingston, Jr., who upon the death of his father 
Philip in 174-9, had succeeded him as lord of the manor, al- 
though apparently not of an especially aggressive disposition, 
was nevertheless possessed of sufficient firmness and determina- 
tion to render him disposed to maintain his rights to the fullest 
extent, Under the advice of his attorneys he commenced pro- 
ceedings in ejectment against Uallenbeek and Loomis, who oc- 
cupied neighboring farms in the elevated valley on Taeonic 
mountain. 4 

Not long after this action had been taken Livingston received 
a letter to the following effect: — 

"March 24, 1752. 

"Sir: — In consequence of an order of a Committee of the 
General Court of the Province of Massachusetts Bay to lay out 
Equivalents in the Province land, T have begun on the East 
side of Tackinick Barrick, 5 and laid out a large Farm which 
encompasses the Dwellings of Michael Ilallenbeeck and Josiah 
Loomis, and yon may depend on it the Province will assert 
their rights to said land. I have beard you have sued the one 
and threatened the other, which possibly may not turn out to 
your advantage. I should have gladly seen you and talked of 
the affair with calmness and in a friendly manner, which I hope 

1. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 710; Ibid, SOT. 

2. Ibid, iii, 746. 

3. Ibid, iii, 7~ >( J, 730. 

4. Keceut investigations by II. P. Keith, C. E., of Great Harrington, have identified 
the clearing occupied by Josiah Loomis at tin's time, with the farm now or recently 
owned by .John Hughes of Mount Washington. Uallenbeck's location was not improba- 
bly adjacent to that of Loomis on the south. 

5. "Taeonic Barrack " appears to have been a local name for the elevation now 
called Cedar mountain, and was probably given by reason of its pyramidical outline 
when viewed from some parts of the Hudson valley, having a fancied resemblance to 
the " barracks" for storing hay and grain, much used by tin* Dutch settlers, and by 
their descendants to this day, consisting of a movable roof of thatch, titled to slide up 
and down on ton;' stout posts. 

The Western Boundwry of Massachusetts. 63 

to have an opportunity to do. In the meantime, I am, Sir, 
your very humble servant, 

Ol'k Paktkidge. 1 

It is scarcely necessary to enlarge upon the utterly illegal and 
indefensible character of this proceeding, even though carried 
out, as it was, under the apparent sanction of the General Court. 
The members from Hampshire county had, it appears, made 
representations to that body to the effect that Loomis and Ilal- 
lenbeck, having unwittingly encroached upon certain ungranted 
[)ul)lic lands to the westward of Sheffield, desired that the prov- 
ince would sell them the lands which they occupied,- a common 
mode of procedure in such cases-, and therefore not calculated 
to attract particular attention, in the present instance. 

A committee, of which Colonel Partridge was chairman, was 
accordingly appointed by the General Court to lay out the 
lands. There can be no doubt that Partridge and his fellow 
delegates from Hampshire county must have been perfectly 
well aware that these lands had remained in peaceable and un- 
interrupted possession of the Livingston family, under a grant 
from the province of New York, for nearly 7<> years. In fact 
the testimony subsequently taken by this committee showed 
that the farm at that time occupied by Michael llallenbeck had 
been cleared and actually occupied since 1692, and that of Wil- 
liam Itace since 17 w 27. The evidence of the affidavits in the 
controversy establishes the fact that the earliest permanent set- 
tlements in the present county of Berkshire were made on Ta- 
conic mountain at least thirty years before the advent of the 
Westfield emigrants, who have hitherto been supposed to be 
the pioneer settlers of the region. 8 

Whatever may have been the defects in Livingston's title, it 
was clearly a matter over which the Massachusetts government 
had no rightful jurisdiction. It could not at this time set up a 
color of title even under an Indian deed, for the records show 
that the conveyance from the Stockbridge Indians which in- 
cluded Taconic mountain and the lands to the westward was not 
made until five years afterward. 1 By the skilful use of ex-parte 

1. Ibid, iii, 730. 

•Z. New York Archives. (Ms.), lxxviii, 00H ; Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 754. 

3. Massachusetts Archives, (Ms.), xlvi, 307. 

1. Springfield Records, (Ms.), i, 11. 

64 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

representations, the conspirators hurl nevertheless succeeded in 
clothing themselves with the authority of the General Court, 
which was all they needed to carry out their schemes. As we 
have seen, the chairman of the committee did not even have 
the ordinary courtesy to notify Livingston of its proposed ac- 
tion, hut went on and laid out the lands during the winter of 
1751-2, taking particular care not to inform him what had heen 
done until about the time of the adjournment of the General 
Court, doubtless in order that all discussion upon his action 
might be deferred until the following year. 

The somewhat offensive tone of Colonel Partridge's commu- 
nication probably did not tend to diminish the feelings of re- 
sentment with which the lord of the manor regarded this bold 
intrusion upon his property and privileges, lie immediately 
addressed a communication to the governor of the province of 
New York rehearsing his grievances at great length, begging 
that official to order the apprehension and committal of such 
persons as should disturb him in his possessions under color of 
authority from Massachusetts Bay, and requesting that "all fur- 
ther proceedings might be stayed in the premises until the true 
division line be settled between the two colonies." 1 

The Westenhook patentees, after having remained quiet for 
a quarter of a century, also began to show renewed signs of life. 
They sent in a petition of like import, in which they referred 
to the peremptory orders issued by both governments in 1 7^<>» 
prohibiting further settlements in the disputed territory until 
the division line should be established, and set forth that while 
they themselves had complied with the injunction, '"the inhab- 
itants of Massachusetts Bay not long afterwards had settled in 
great numbers at Westenhook," and had since continued in 
possession without disturbance from the patentees. In conclu- 
sion the petitioners requested that measures be taken for their 
relief and for the final settlement of the controversy.-' 

These petitions, together with reports thereupon from the 
attorney-general and surveyor-general of the province, were in 
due time referred to the governor and council, and on March 2. 

1. New York Archives, (Ms.), lxxvii, 39, 40 ; Uoc. Hist. New York, iii, 7~>7. 
i. New York Archives, (Ms.), lxxvii, 40, 47. 

The Western Bowulary of Massachusetts. 65 

1753, James De Laneey reported in behalf of a committee 

of the council, setting forth in detail the claims of New- 
York to the territory occupied by Massachusetts west of 
Connecticut river, both under the Dutch title of discovery and 
occupation, and under the royal grant to the Duke of York in 
1074, and contending that whatever original title Massachusetts 
might have had to the territory to dispute under the patents of 
James in 1G(>6 and 1620 had become void by the revocation of 
her colonial charter in 10S4. The report concludes as follows: 
— "The committee are of opinion, the attempts of the inhabi- 
tants of Massachusetts Bay to make encroachments upon any 
lands granted by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of New- 
York, or upon any lands within the Jurisdiction of this Prov- 
ince, are disrespectful to his Majesty's Authority, tend to the 
Disturbance of his Subjects of this Province, and may be the 
Cause of great Mischiefs and Disorders. That the steps taken 
by the said Inhabitants, even were the Pounds doubtful and 
unsettled, are intrusions and disrespectful to his Majesty's Au- 
thority." 1 A copy of Livingston's petition and of the above re- 
port was forwarded to Lieutenant Governor Phips of Massa- 

In the meantime David Ingersoll and his associates had not 
been idle. Under date of November 22, 1752, a petition was 
forwarded to the General Court of Massachusetts signed by 
William Pull and 57 others, most of whom resided within 
the chartered limits of the Livingston manor, for a grant of 
land described as follows: " Beginning at the Top of the first 
great Mountain west of Sheffield running northwesterly with 
the General Course of the Mountain about nine or ten Miles, 
and thence turning and running West about six Miles, thence 
running southerly to the North line of Connecticut, out, thence 
running Easterly to the first mentioned Boundary."* In re- 
sponse to this petition, on December 30, 1752, a committee of 
three, of which General Joseph Dwight was chairman, was ap- 
pointed to visit the lands petitioned for, make a valuation of 
the improvements and report all the particulars in relation to 

1. New York Council Minutes (Ms.), xxiii, . r ). r ) ; Doe. Hist. New York, iii, 737. 

2. Massachusetts Archives (Ms.), oxvi, 32. 

66 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

the condition of the existing .settlements. At the request of 
General Dwight, Kobert Livingston met the committee at upper 
Sheffield on the 8th of May, 1753, and was shown a copy of the 
settler's petition. He at once told the committee that lie him- 
self claimed most of the lands petitioned for, and desired them 
not to value or dispose of them. Upon stating to the commit- 
tee, in answer to a question, that he claimed under the govern- 
ment of New York, he was asked what right that province had 
to the land's in question. Livingston replied by reading the re- 
port of the committee of the council, already referred to. The 
next day the parties repaired to the vicinity of the disputed ter- 
ritory. Livingston pointed out the boundaries of his estate and 
invited the members of the committee to accompany him to Ins 
manor-house on Hudson's river and inspect his title-deeds, which 
invitation, however, they did not, as it appeal's, think proper to 
accept. 1 

Some inkling of the character of the methods which had been 
employed by Tngersoll in securing names to this petition may 
be inferred from the replies made by the tenants to their land- 
lord, when asked by him what bad induced them to sign the 
document. Some of them replied, no doubt truthfully, that 
they had not signed it, and could not understand why their 
names were subscribed to it, inasmuch as they had never peti- 
tioned, as they understood it, for any of Livingston's lands, but 
for lands lying eastward of his east bounds. 2 

Upon the arrival of the committee accompanied by Living- 
stem at Taconic mountain, a great number of the settlers were 
found assembled. The committee addressed them, advising 
them to remain quiet until the division line was settled, and 
such of them as were tenants to pay their rents honestly to their 
landlords. Livingston, after entering into a mutual agreement 
with the committee that all further proceedings should be stayed 
pending the settlement of the line, returned to his manor-house. 
The members of the committee, although they may have kept 
the letter of the agreement, certainly violated its spirit, for 
within X(t\\ days afterwards, a surveying part}' from Sheffield, 

1. Doe. Hist. New York, iii, 739-49. 

2. Ibid. iii. 745. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. (\l 

acting under their instructions, commenced to lay out the tract 
described in Bull's petition, and to cut a tree-fence around it by 
way of taking formal possession of the premises. 1 

Shortly before the visit of the committee, it appeal's that a 
New England man named George Robinson, a tenant on the 
mountain and one of the signers of the petition, had been ar- 
rested and imprisoned on a charge of trespass at the suit of Liv- 
ingston, by whose orders his house was also burned to the 
ground. 3 The General Court, upon learning of this, ordered 
General Dwiglit to bail and defend Robinson, a procedure 
which Livingston emphatically protested against, as "an aiding 
and abetting of the said Trespass and Encouragement to future 
Trespasses of the like kind." 3 On May 31st, Livingston ad- 
dressed another urgent petition to Governor Clinton, recount- 
ing these proceedings and praying for relief. This was in due 
course referred to the Massachusetts government, which replied 
by a resolution asserting the rights of their province to be 
founded upon grants " as ancient as the year 1620," and express- 
ing the opinion "that therefore it can by no means be advisable 
for this Government now to suspend the Exercise of their Ju- 
risdiction, but on the contrary it behooves them to go on in set- 
tling the Lands and regulating and governing the Inhabitants 
according to the right given them by Charter." 4 Upon receipt 
of a copy of this resolution the New York Assembly passed an 
act appointing six commissioners to investigate the affair, and 
to endeavor to procure a settlement of the boundaries with the 
neighboring colonies, subject to the approval of the home gov- 
ernment. 5 

In July 1753, the disturbances began to assume a serious as- 
pect. It seems that Josiah Loomis, although warned oil by 
Livingston two years before, as already mentioned, had received 
verbal permission from him to raise one more summer crop. 
Not content with this, Loomis afterward commenced prepara- 
tions for putting in still another crop, whereupon Livingston 
sent him notice that if he sowed that crop "he might depend 

1. I )<k;. Hist. N. Y., iii, 718. 

5>. Ibid, in, 75-1. 

3. Ibid, iii, 7 is. 

1. Xcw York Archives (Ms.), lxxvii, 110. 

5. New York. Laws (Van Sehaaok), 313. 


Berkshire Historical and 8oic7itijic Society. 

upon it he should not reap it." Looniis nevertheless persisted, 

and gave out that "Massachusetts Hay would defend liim." 
The landlord was as good as his word. Early in June lie ap- 
peared at the head of a body of sixty armed retainers, who 
gathered Loomis's crops and carried them away. 1 One act 
quickly led to another. Within a few days a sheriff and posse 
from Hampshire county, under a warrant issued by one of the 
Sheffield magistrates, probably Ingersoll himself, captured and 
imprisoned two of Livingston's men, Robert Van Deuseu and 
his son John, on a charge of trespass preferred by Looniis.- Gov- 
ernor Clinton of New York at once issued a proclamation for 
the arrest of Loomis and the other persons concerned in the 
capture of the Van Deusens, or of any person entering upon or 
trying to take possession of lands granted under the seal of the 
province, under pretence of authority from Massachusetts Bay. 3 
lie also wrote to Lieutenant Governor Phips of Massachusetts, 
stating that he himself had no authority to settle the boundary, 
urging that the aggressive proceedings of the Massachusetts set- 
tlers might be suspended, and enclosing a copy of the procla- 
mation. 4 Governor Shirley, who had succeeded Phips, replied 
that he would refer the matter to the General Court. This 
body reported on September 11th, professing a ik sincere desire 
for peace and good order," but setting forth that they had pro- 
posed to appoint commissioners for settling the line, in which 
New York declined to join ; that they had sent a committee to 
view the premises and that it had been mutually agreed on the 
spot between Mr. Livingston and the committee that all pro- 
ceedings should be stopped, but that nevertheless Livingston 
"in a very hostile and riotous manner had entered upon part of 
said lands in possession of Josiah Looniis," cut down his wheat, 
and much more to the same effect. 5 

In the meantime Michael llallenbeck, one of the posse who 
had assisted in the capture of the Van Deusens, was arrested 
under the New York governor's proclamation, and committed 
to Dutchess county jail, from which he however soon effected 

1. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 755, 764. 

2. Ibid, lii, 701. 

3. Ibid, iii, 751. 

4. Ibid, iii, 719. 

5. New York Archives (Ms.), lxxviii. 157; Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 751. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 


his escape, and in company with his disaffected neighbor, Josiah 
Loomi&j sought the counsel and protection of Esquire [ugersoll, 
who it appears took them both with him to Boston. In the 
latter part of January, 1754, Ilallenbeck and Looniis reappeared 
on Taconic mountain, and exultingly informed the settlers tliat 
the General Court at Boston had given them each £10 in reim- 
bursement of their expenses, and that a committee would he 
sent in March to lay out a- township. 1 

This was not done however, so far as the records show, until 
the succeeding year, and in the meantime matters on the border 
remained comparatively quiet. The only event of importance 
was a report presented by a committee of the General Court of 
Massachusetts, a copy of which was sent to the New York au- 
thorities, in which for the first time, the grounds of the claim 
of Massachusetts to the disputed territories were distinctly for- 
mulated. Briefly stated, it was that the charter of 1620 granted 
all lands westward to the South Sea not actually in the posses- 
sion of any Christian prince or state ; that the new charter of 
KiDl expressly included all territories comprised within the first 
grant, that the lands in dispute were not in the possession of 
the Dutch in 1620, and that therefore they rightfully belonged 
to Massachusetts.- 

Much controversy and recrimination was caused about this 
time on account of the arrest by order of Livingston of one 
Bayne, charged with the destruction of 1,100 trees near Alt- 
eram furnace, who was imprisoned for sometime in Albany jail 
in default of hail to the amount of £1,000, which was subse- 
quently furnished by Colonel Lydius under the direction of the 
Boston government, and the prisoner set at large. 3 

During the winter of 1751-5, the syndicate of Hampshire 
land speculators, already referred to, induced the General Court 
to appoint a committee to lay out three new townships within 
the territories claimed by New York. Two or three of the dis- 
affected tenants, instigated by lugersoll, were meanwhile indus- 
triously engaged in stirring up the others against their land- 

1. New York Archives (Ms.), lxxviii, 67 ; Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 767. 

:.». New York Archives (Ms.), lxxviii, 64. 

;}. Doc. J list. New York, iii, 767-774 ; Ibid, 814. 

4. ibid, iii, 774. 

70 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

The disturbed condition of aifairs on the border, and the 
ceaseless complaints arising from the lawless proceeding)! of 
'Hliat wicked varlet David Ingersoll " and life " parcel of ras- 
cally I>anditty," as Livingston not inaptly termed them, at length 
aroused the New York Assembly to make provision for the 
necessary expenses attending the settlement of a provisional 
line. Accordingly, in the spring of 1754, commissioners were 
again appointed, and furnished with explicit instructions, in 
which the point was most particularly insisted upon that all 
lands heretofore granted under the authority of New York 
should he included within her limits. 1 In July the commis- 
sioners reported to the Assembly that they had met the Massa- 
chusetts commissioners, but were unable to effect anything, the 
latter claiming that they had no authority to negotiate for a 
provisional line, whereupon the council recommended the fol- 
lowing as a final proposition on the part of the New York gov- 
ernment : — 

"That Westenhook river should be the bounds or line be- 
tween the two governments, from the north Line of Connecti- 
cut as far as the place where the North line of the Patent of 
Westenhook crosses that River,* being about eighteen miles, 
that from that place or point on the said River a line should be 
run Northerly so as to leave Fort Massachusetts one hundred 
yards Eastward of such line." 3 

This resolution was transmitted by Lieutenant Governor 
De Lancey to Governor Shirley of Massachusetts, with a letter 
strongly urging the acceptance of the proposition, but as usual 
without result. In the meantime the disaffection had extended 
into the territories claimed by John Van Rensselaer. In 1 7-fs 
or '4D, one Robert Noble 4 had emigrated from Sheffield, and 

1. New York Council Minutes (Ms.), xxiii, 177; N. Y. Archives (Ms.), lxxviii. 12;>, K'7. 

2. This point was Packwake. See note 3, p. 50, (ante.) 

3. New York Council Minutes (Ms.), xxiii. L'OH. 

1. Koiikut Nor.LK.— It is to be regretted that so little can be learned of the career of 
this brave and enterprising leader. The following facts, which have been collected from 
different sources, may be of interest. Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Noble was a native of 
Enniskillen, Ireland, who came to New England in 1720, and settled in Georgetown, 
York Co., Maine. His brother, Ensign Francis, was one of the early inhabitants of 
Sheffield, Mass. They both fell in the bloody surprise at Minas, Nova Scotia, June 11,. 
1717. (See N. E. Hist, and Gen. Keg. ix, 10<i, 118; 1 1 ah burton's Uist. Nova Scotia, ii. 132; 
Williamson's Uist. Maine, ii, 250.) Robert Noble was a son of Francis. I he Sheffield set- 
tler. AprilK, 1717, he was made lieutenant in the company of foot in Brig. Gen. Waldo's 
regiment, raised in the Province of Massachusetts Bay for the reduction "of Canada, in 
the garrison of Annapolis, N. S. At the close of the war he returned to Sheffield, set- 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 71 

settled within the alleged limits of the Claverack manor in the 
vicinity of the present village uf East Hillsdale. He was en- 
terprising, courageous and aggressive, and soon became the ac- 
knowledged leader of a hand of kindred spirits, who were ani- 
mated by the common purpose, of making a determined and for- 
cible resistance to the claims of Livingston and Van Rensselaer. 
From 1749 until 1755, a continual emigration had been going 
on from Sheffield, Ganaan, Conn., and other more distant places 
to the disputed territory. Some of the pioneers in this move- 
ment, or "sqiiatters" to use an expressive modern term, had lo- 
cated on the upper waters of the Green river ; a considerable 
number had established themselves along Punsit creek in the 
vicinity of the present village of Spenccrtown, N. Y., 1 and still 
others had planted themselves in the narrow hut fertile valleys 
in the eastern part of Hillsdale. 

On the 8th of August, 1754, the hamlet known as "Dutch 
Iloosiek," situated in the northeast corner of the manor of 
Rensselaer wyck, was surprised, ravaged and destroyed by a body 
of hostile Canadian Indians, who threw out detached scouting 
parties as far south as Stockhridge, at which place the house of 
a settler was attacked and a man and two children killed.- These 
occurrences created the most intense excitement and alarm. 
Militia companies were organized for defence in nearly 
every settlement and town in western Hampshire, and forts 
were hastily constructed at Pontoosnck and other points. A 
company was raised on Taconie mountain and the adjacent 

Hod his father's ostato, and then established himself, about the year 1749, within the ter- 
ritories claimed by Van Kensselaer. The important part which he took in the anti-runt 
disturbances tor several years thereafter has been fully detailed in the text,. In 1703 and 

1700 he is called in deeds as of Kgremont. lie married Lydia , who was buried 

from St. .lames church in Oieat Harrington. Sept. 11,177(5. His own death oeeurred 
about -January, 1770, probably in Kgremont. He bad three children, Benjamin, who in. 

.May bates; Francis, m. Lavinia , who was bant, in Ot. Harrington, May 10, 

177M, ami Betsey, whom. John (?) Burget of Oreat Harrington. In 177N, the Mass. (Jeneral 
< 'ourt passed an act proscribing certain persons, loyalists, who had departed from the 
Hinted states, or joined the enemies thereof, among whom were Benjamin and Francis 
Noble, thou of l'ittstield. Francis settled at St. John, N. B., and was one of the refugees 
to whom were; granted the lands on which that city now stands. Benjamin went to 
New York, where be was killed before the return of peace.— (Sabine's American Loyal- 
ists.) Itdoes not appear that any relationship existed between this family and others of 
the same name, who were among the pioneers from Westfield, and made the first set- 
tlement in Sheffield in 1725-0. 

1, Among 11k; early settlors in the vicinity of Spenccrtown wore John Dean. John 
Williams, Seth and Truman Powell, -lames Sexton, Kphraim Kidder, and families by the 
name of Osborn, Lawrence, Spencer and Whitmore. — Hough's (hi/.. N. V., ~'.iG. 

2. Col. Hist. N. Y., vi. 90fl; Hoyt's Indian Wars. In this raid 1 I houses, 3H barns and 
28 barracks of wheat won; destroyed. (Statement of <apt. C'hapin, then in command of 
Fort Massachusetts). 

72 Berkshire Historical aiul Scientific Society. 

parts, of which Michael Iiallenbeck was commissioned captain, 
another in the southeastern portion of Claverack manor, com- 
manded by Robert Noble, and .still another among the Bottlers 
in Spencertown. 1 

Pending' the breaking out of further hostilities with the 
French and Canadian savages, Noble and Iiallenbeck found 
employment for their forces in open resistance to the New 
York authorities. In February, 1755, a dispute arose between 
some of the New England settlers and one Joseph Pixley of 
Claverack, who was employed by Van Rensselaer to attend a 
grist-mill; in consequence of which Noble with a party of men 
suddenly made their appearance at the mill, attacked and partly 
destroyed it.~ A constable named Clark Pixley assisted by one 
John Morris attempted to arrest the invaders, but were over- 
powered and captured by them, and carried away into Massa- 
chusetts. 3 A r an Rensselaer, in his capacity as a magistrate, at 
once issued a warrant and ordered Abraham Yates, high sheriff 
of the county of Albany, to arrest the rioters. Yates accord- 
ingly apprehended one Thomas Whitney, who was prominently 
concerned in the affair at the Claverack mill, but had scarcely 
more than done so, when the prisoner was rescued by Noble at 
the head of fifteen or twenty armed men. The sheriff himself 
was captured at the same time, put under a strong guard and 
conveyed a prisoner to Sheffield, where one of the magistrates, 
doubtless Esquire Ingersoll, held him to bail in the sum of 
£150 to appear for trial in May following. 4 

As soon as the news of this bold outrage reached the ears of 
Lieutenant Governor De Lancey, he issued a proclamation for 
the arrest of Noble and his associates. 5 Colonel John Van 
Rensselaer, accompanied by Sheriff Yates and a posse of about 
fifty men gathered from Claverack and Ancram, all well armed, 
set out to suppress the rebellion, and to endeavor to effect the 
capture of Noble and his partisans. On April 13th, they sur- 
rounded the house of Jonathan Darby on Taconic mountain, 
which was occupied by an assemblage of anti-renters, and suc- 

1. Doe. Hist. New York, iii, 775, 770, 781. 

2. New York Archives (Ms.), Ixxx, 108 ; lxxxii, 3 ; lxxxiii. 51. 
8. Doc. I list. New York, iii, 770. 

4. Ibid, iii, 777, 780. 

5. Ibid, iii 785. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts, 73 

coeded in capturing Josiah Loomis, wlio from the beginning had 
been one of the most prominent and active of the insurgents. 1 
The next day they attacked Noble's fortified, but Noble 
himself, as it appears, had gone to Sheffield to Ingorsoll 
what was going on. Mrs. Noble, with a spirit worthy of her 
husband, made the best defense possible by barricading the 
doors. The sheriff's party finally broke in, captured some of 
Noble's arms and accoutrements, and shortly departed, not how- 
ever until they had torn down the neighboring house of another 
anti-renter named Neheniiah Hopkins. The next morning at 
daybreak the Van TCensselaer expedition proceeded to the house 
of William Race or Rees, on Taconic mountain and attempted 
to arrest him. A violent altercation ensued, in the course of 
which Race was instantly killed by the discharge of a gun in 
the hands of Matthew Furlong, one of the sheriff's party. News 
of this deplorable affair was at once carried to Sheffield, where 
it created the most intense excitement. Coroner William In- 
gersoll summoned a jury and held an inquest over the body, 
who returned a verdict of wilful murder.- A proclamation was 
immediately issued by Lieutenant Governor Phips of Massa- 
chusetts, offering £100 reward for the apprehension of the par- 
ties engaged in the homicide. 

On the 6th of May, acting under the authority of a warrant 
issued by Colonel John Ashley, one of the sheriffs of Hamp- 
shire county, supported by an armed posse of over one hundred 
men under command of Robert Noble, made a descent upon 
Livingston's iron works at Ancram, and captured the entire 
force of workmen, on the charge of being implicated in the 
killing of Race. These men were taken on horseback through 
Connecticut to Springfield where they were all committed to 
jail. 3 Furlong however was not among the number. Upon the 
subserpient examination of the prisoners before a magistrate, it 
was found that no complicity in the homicide could be proven 
against any of them, and they were accordingly sent under 
guard to Sheffield, with orders that they be held there as hos- 
tages, not to be set at liberty until the New York authorities 

1. Loomis remained in confinement until the following August when he was released 
upuu request of the Massachusetts government. 
^. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 790, 793. 
3. Ibid, iii, 791, 793. 

7-i Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society, 

should release Loomis and the other insurgents then in confine- 
ment at Albany. 1 

This Ancram expedition was clearly an unwarrantable out- 
rage, and one which reflects the utmost discredit upon its or- 
ganizers. Colonel Ashley and Esquire Ingersoll. In the first 
place there does not appear to have been any evidence that 
any of the iron-works' employees were implicated in the killing 
of Race, and in the second place, Ancram lying directly west of 
Connecticut could not by any pretence of uncertainty in the 
boundaries be regarded as within the jurisdiction of Massachu- 
setts Bay. The affair was nothing less than a wanton invasion 
by an armed force, an actual levying of war against a neighbor- 
ing province, apparently without a shadow of justification. 
Moreover, the iron- works were at that time engaged on a con- 
tract which Livingston had made to supply carriage-wheels and 
ammunition for the expedition which was being fitted out by 
the United Colonies against Crown Point and Niagara, for pro- 
tection against the French, the common enemy. The furnace 
was thrown out of blast by the arrest of the workmen, several 
weeks of precious time were lost, and the success of the colonial 
expedition actually endangered. 2 But Ingersoll and his associ- 
ates, like many modern politicians, cared but little for the dis- 
astrous results that might ensue to the welfare of the public, so 
long as they were afforded sufficient opportunity to gratify their 
personal ambitions and revenges. 

After performing the exploit to which we have just referred, 
Noble's army of invasion was employed as body-guard to a 
party of surveyors, which under the authority of the General 
Court previously referred to, commenced on May 16th, to lav 
out the townships w r est of Sheffield and Stockbridge, which 
were afterwards known as Taconic and Kobletown. 3 

Within a few months after this time, the land-jobbers' con- 
spiracy met with an irretrievable reverse in the political and 
linancial downfall of the active and unscrupulous Ingersoll. 
For some unascertained reason, but in all probability mainly on 
account of his complicity in the Ancram affair, an order was is- 

1, Doc. Uist. New York, iii, 798. 801. 
•J. Ibid, iii, 811, 
3. Ibid, iii, 81U. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts, 75 

sued by the General Court in August of that year, removing 
him from the offices of justice of the peace and captain of mili- 
tia, and forever disqualifying him from holding any office of 

honor or profit under the government. To complete his dis- 
comfiture his mills and other property at North Sheffield was 
seized upon execution and sold to satisfy the demands of his 
creditors. This was a crushing blow to the crafty Ingersoll, 
and one from which he never recovered, for although lie sur- 
vived for many years, he appears to have passed the remainder 
of his life in comparative obscurity. 1 

It seems., probable that the feeling of indignation excited by 
the Ancram outrage led to a more careful investigation by dis- 
interested parties of the real state of affairs, through which 
means the General Court of Massachusetts at length began to 
realize that its authority had been grossly abused and perverted 
by a conscienceless cabal of speculators, for the better further- 
ance of their private ends. It is not unlikely that personal un- 
popularity of Ingersoll, together with the circumstance that he 
was unquestionably the instigator of the whole business, may 
have enabled his more respectable associates in the General 
Court to use him as a scape-goat. At all events, we do not find 
the Massachusetts government from this time forward lending 
its official sanction to schemes of colonization westward of the 
traditional 20 mile line. 

Although the anti-renters found themselves thus suddenly 
bereft both of the moral and pecuniary support of the Massa- 
chusetts government, it is not surprising that they were by no 
means disposed to submit peaceably to the authority of New 
York. In November, 1756, Livingston attempted to dispossess 
a tenant named Henry Brusie, but found the place defended by 
one Benjamin Franklin, aided by John Van Guilder, the Indian 
patriarch of Guilder Hollow, and one of his sons. A melee 
ensued, in which one of Livingston's men named Iiypenberger 
was shot dead by the elder Van Guilder, but the latter and his 
son were nevertheless captured and safely lodged in Albany 
jail. The numerous remaining members of the Van Guilder 
family with one accord vowed vengeance upon Livingston. 

1. Taylor's Hist. Great Barrington, 133. 

76 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

They set out for Stockbridge, threatening to return at the head 
of the whole tribe, and to assassinate him, and hum his manor- 
house over his head. The authorities however were quickly 
apprised of their hostile intentions, and an officer and 25 men 
were detailed by General Abererombie to guard the manor- 
house, while Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian 
affairs, who happened to be at Albany, dispatched a messenger 
with a letter to Stockbiidge, and by the force of his official in- 
fluence succeeded in preventing the projected raid. 1 

In February, 1756, Governor Hardy had written to the Lords 
of Trade recounting the lawless proceedings on the borders, and 
begging that the home government would take proper measures 
to compel the inhabitants of Massachusetts to keep within their 
limits "till his Majesty shall please to determine the line of ju- 
risdiction.'^ After some further official correspondence be- 
tween the parties Concerning the matter, the Lords gave a hear- 
ing in London in March, 1757, to the resident agents of the 
respective provinces, in pursuance of which they made a unani- 
mous representation to the King, to the effect that there was 
little probability that the dispute would ever be determined by 
agreement, and recommending his majesty to interpose his au- 
thority and settle such a line of partition as should, upon con- 
sideration of the actual and ancient possessions of both prov- 
inces, "appear to be just and equitable." The Lords expressed 
the opinion that both charters were "so inexplicit and defective 
that no exclusive inference can he drawn from them with re- 
spect to the extent of territory originally intended to be granted 
by them," and suggested that a line ''drawn northerly from a 
point on the south boundary line of Massachusetts Bay, twenty 
miles distant due east from Hudson's river, to another point twen- 
ty miles distant from the said river due east on that line which 
divides the Provinces of New Hampshire and the Massachusetts 
Bay, would he a just and equitable division." 3 It does not ap- 
pear however that the king took any action in this matter until 
1767, and when ho did, he referred the determination of the 

1. Col. Hist. New York, vii, iiOG, 207; Stone's Life and Times of Sir Win. Johnson, 
ii. 39. 

2. Col. Hist. New York, vii, 37. 

3. Ibid, vii, 273. 

The Western Boundary of 'Massachusetts. 11 

boundary to commissioners to he appointed by each province, 
thus leaving the matter exactly where it was before. 1 

The following spring, May 7, 1757, another anti-rent riot oc- 
curred at the of Jonathan Darby on Taconic mountain, 
between a New York sheriff's posse and a body of thirty-one 
armed partizans, including several of the Van Guilders, who 
had fortified themselves within the house. In this affray James 
Burton and Casper Ham were killed and a number of others 
wounded.- Governor De Lancey at once issued a proclamation 
ordering the apprehension of every person concerned in the af- 
fair at Darby's, and under the authority of this, several of the 
participants were arrested, and were kept in close confinement 
in Albany jail for some two years. 3 This vigorous action of the - 
New York authorities suppressed the insurrection for the time, 
and matters remained comparatively quiet for a considerable 

In 17f>2, Josiah Loomis and one Robert Miller of Duchess 
county, made another attempt to incite an insurrection among 
Loomis's old neighbors, but were foiled by the prompt action of 
the governor of New York, who issued a proclamation against 
the ring-leaders, and ordered the sheriff to suppress all unlawful 
and riotous gatherings, at all hazards, and with the whole force 
at the command of the county. 4 

Four years afterwards the anti-rent disturbances broke out 
again on the Rensselaer manor with greater violence than ever. 
Robert Noble, who in the interval had been engaged with his 
friends David Ingersoll and Josiah Loomis in the more peace- 
ful occupation of establishing a Protestant Episcopal church in 
North Sheffield (which had now become incorporated as a sepa- 
rate town under the name of Great Barrington,) of which 
church he had been chosen one of the wardens, 5 put himself at 
the head of an armed force, and actually, defeated a strong posse 
headed by the sheriff of Albany, who were attempting to dis- 
possess some of the u squatters" on the Van Rensselaer tract. 
In this affray Cornelius Ten Broeck, one of the posse, and 

1. Col. Hist. Now York, viii. *i38. 

2. Doc. Hist. New York, ii, 744 ; iii, 819 ; Col. Hist. New York, vii, 273. 

3. Doc. Hist. New York, iii, 821, 82-1. 
1. Ibid, iii, 825, 820. 

3. Taylor's Hist. Great Barrington, 197. 

78 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Thomas Whitney, Noble's lieutenant and right-hand man, were 
killed, and several on both .sides wounded. 1 Whitney was ever 
after regarded in his own neighborhood as a martyr to the cause 
of anti-rentisni, and an elaborate head-stone was erected over 
his grave in the little cemetery at North Hillsdale. This re- 
newed outbreak was followed by another proclamation from the 
governor ordering the arrest of Robert Noble, for whom a re- 
ward of £100 was offered. 2 The sheriff with a large posse at- 
tacked Noble's fortified house and attempted to arrest him, but 
both he and his associate Josiah Loomis, although out-numbered 
and overpowered, effected their escape into the neighboring ju- 
risdiction, and we hear no more of them on the New York side 
of the line. The rank and file of the rioters, however, were not 
reduced to subjection until the arrival of a detachment of the 
Royal Infantry, which had been sent from New York to sup- 
port the civil authorities. 

Pursuant to the royal decree, commissioners were again ap- 
pointed by the legislatures of both provinces for the purpose of 
settling the boundary, who met at New Haven on the first of 
October, 1767. The commissioners of Massachusetts first pro- 
posed a line 12 miles east of Hudson's river and parallel to h> 
general course, to which the New York commissioners replied 
by proposing a similar line 30 miles from the river. The Mas- 
sachusetts commissioners declined to entertain the last named 
proposition at all, and proposed instead a line extending due 
north from " Connecticut old corner," a point "esteemed to be 
2o miles from Hudson's river," until it met the north line of 
their province. New York refused to agree to this proposal, 
the obvious design of which was to extend the jurisdiction of 
Massachusetts over all the settlements which had been made 
without legal authority in the territories west of the Taconic 
mountains comprised in Nobletown, Speiieertown and New Ca- 
naan, but expressed a willingness to accept a line 24 miles from 
the river, in order to save to New York the *" i*i^;lits ^ of the 
Rensselaer family. Finally Massachusetts agreed to accept the 
straight line recommended by the Lords of Trade, having each 

1. Boc. Hist. New York, iii, 831. 
•i. Ibid, iii, H30. 

TJie Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 79 

of its termini 20 miles due east of tlie river, and stated tliat 
they could not consent to "anything more disadvantageous/ 1 
In reply to this, the New York commissioners, while expressing 
their willingness to accept a line 20 miles from the river, in- 
sisted that its terminal point on the northern boundary of Mas- 
sachusetts should be found by means of a measurement at right- 
angles to the general course of the river, which is here consid- 
erably to the east of north. After approaching so near to an 
agreement, the two lines proposed being scarcely a mile apart at 
their northern extremities and meeting in a common point at 
the south, neither party would make any further concession and 
tlte conference broke up. In February following the General 
Court of Massachusetts resolved that it would agree to the last 
proposal made by its commissioners, and further conceded that 
the distance might be determined in horizontal measure. 1 Thus 
the matter rested for ten years. 

In 1772, the authorities of New York succeeded in arresting 
the principal members of a gang of counterfeiters which had 
for sometime infested the debatable territory near the boundary. 
A number of these were tried, sentenced to death, and executed ' 
at Albany, among others one Gill Belcher of Great Barrington, 
whose workshop tradition affirms to have been in the natural 
hiding-place east of Great Barrington village, since known as 
Belcher's cave. 2 The counterfeits were of New York currency. 
They were manufactured in Great Barrington and Sheffield, by 
Belcher and one Ethan Lewis, and were passed by confederates 
at convenient points in the vicinity of the boundary. 3 The ar- 
rest of these worthies led to new complications between the two 
governments, which at least served to emphasize the necessity of 
establishing a certain and definite line of jurisdiction. 

1. The journal of the proceedings of the commissioners at the New Haven confer- 
ence may be found in full in New York Gen. Assembly Journal, 11-29. 

2. Taylor's Hist. Great Barrington, 218. 

3. This organization of counterfeiters appears to have been a very extensive one, and 
to have caused a great deal of trouble both to the inhabitants and to the authorities, all 
along the New York frontier from Vermont to Long Island sound. In the New York 
Archives, (vol. xcix, 49-59,) are preserved a number of petitions for executive clemency , 
in which many interesting and curious facts are incidentally disclosed. Among these 
petitioners are Gil. Belcher, above referred to, John Smith (of course*, John Wall Lovely 
and Dr. Joseph Bill. It appears that Lovely and one William Hubbard or Ilnlbert, a son 
of Obadiah Hubbard of Enfield, Conn.', turned state's evidence against their confeder- 
ates, which led to their arrest and conviction, and in view of his services in this matter, 
and of his previous good character, Hubbard was pardoned bv Gov. Tryoii on January 
8, 1773. It is probable that most of the others, if not. all of them, suffered the penalty of 
their crimes. 

SO Berkshire Historical and /Scientific Society. 

Accordingly in May, 1773, another set of commissioners met 
at Hartford, at which Tryon and Hutchinson, the royal gov- 
ernors of the respective provinces, were present. A survey 
which had been made by Mr. Young on the ice the preceding 
winter was laid before the joint commission, which showed that 
the general course of Hudson's river between the respective 
points of intersection of the north and south lines of the Mas- 
sachusetts patent, was north 21 (leg. 10 min. 30 sec. east. When 
both parties are desirous to agree, there is usually not much dif- 
ficulty in arriving at a result, and after a very brief discussion 
this tedious and discreditable controversy, which had now con- 
tinued for more than a century, was terminated by the execu- 
tion of a mutual indenture, that the line should be run from 
"Connecticut old corner" parallel to the general course of Hud- 
son's river, viz: north 21 deg. 10 min. 30 sec. east, as deter- 
mined by Mr. Young, till it intersected the northern line of 
the province, which was precisely the boundary which had been 
recommended by the king's commissioners ninety-nine years 
before. 1 

It would seem that when the initial point and direction of 
the line had been definitely agreed upon, the comparatively 
simple operation of tracing it upon the ground might have been 
effected without the further recurrence of captious disputes 
upon insignificant details, but such was by no means the case. 
The joint commissioners of the two provinces, accompanied by 
their respective surveyors and chainmen, met at the "old cor- 
ner" on the 11th of October following. After running the 
line on the agreed course about 20 miles northward over the 
roughest region to be found among the Taconics, anew pretext 
for contention was found. Major Joseph ITawley, one of the 
Massachusetts commissioners, happened to discover that the 
line, which was being run in the usual manner by means of a 
transit and sight-stakes, would trend a trifle farther east than a 
line run by the needle, by reason of the progressive increase of 
the westerly variation as the survey proceeded northward, and 
he therefore insisted upon altering the course from the begin 
ning. A dispute at once commenced which resulted in the sus- 

1. Col. Hist. Now York, viii, 871 ; ibid, Hi, 2S9, 231. A copy of the Hartford agreement 
Is in New York Sen. Doc. 1«73, No. IDS. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. HI 

pension of the work. 1 Soon after this the troubles immediately 
preceding the outbreak of the Revolution engrossed public at- 
tention to such an extent that nothing further was done in the 
matter for many years. 

On the 25th of September, 1784, another fruitless attempt to 
run the line was made by a new set of joint commissioners who 
had been duly appointed by both states. The cause of disa- 
greement this time was in respect to the proper allowance to be 
made for the change in the declination of the magnetic needle 
since 1773. After spending some ten days on the spot discuss- 
ing the subject, and running seven or eight miles of the line, 
the commissioners were as usual unable to come to any satisfac- 
tory agreement, and the work once more suspended. 2 

Finally in 1784, the Massachusetts legislature petitioned Con- 
gress for a federal commission. A hearing took place in Decem- 
ber of that year, at which both parties were represented, 3 and 
measures were taken which resulted in the appointment by Con- 
gress of Thomas Ilutchins, 4 Rev. Dr. John Ewing, 5 and David 
Rittenhouse, 6 as commissioners. 7 After much legislation and 
correspondence, the members of the joint commission once more 
assembled on July 19, 1787, at the "old corner," and after mak- 
ing allowance for the change of variation of the needle since 
the date of the agreement in 1773, a period of 14 years and 2 

1. Report of William Nicoll and Gerard Bancker. New York Archives (Ms.), c, 32; 
New York Hist. Sou. Coll. 180'J, p. 325 

2. Report of Gerard Bancker, (Ms.) Clinton Papers, N. Y. State Library, xix, No. 

3. Journals of Congress, iv, 450. 

4. Thomas Hutcutns, b, Monmouth, N. J., about 1730 ; entered the military service at 
an early age, became captain, was an engineer in Gen. Bouquet's expedition against the 
Shawnoes in 17(5-1. Was imprisoned in London in 1770, because of his known devotion 
to the American cause. Soon afterwards he sailed from France to Charleston, s. 0., 
and joined the army under Greene with the title of ''geographer general." lie published 
a number of geographical works which were largely used by Dr. Morse in compiling 
his American Gazetteer, lie d. at Pittsburgh, April 28, I78i>. 

5. John Ewincj, 1). D., b. Nottingham, Md.. June 22, 1732, was pastor of First Pres- 
byterian churcli of Philadelphia in 175'J, and provost of University of Penn,, from 1779 
until his deatli in 1803. lie was vice president of the Am. Philosophical society, ami a 
man of considerable scientific attainments. 

(i. David Rittknhousk, F. R. S., LL. D., b. April 8, 1732, near Germantown. Penn., 
taught himself mathematics while a boy on his father's farm, became a distinguished 
eloek-maker, was employed in connection with Mason and Dixon in 1703, in determining 
Hie initial point of their survey, which he did with instruments of his own construction. 
lie settled in Philadelphia in 1770, where he manufactured clocks and mathematical in- 
struments.; became president of the Am. Philosophical society on the death of Dr. 
Franklin in 1791 ; was a member of Pennsylvania constitutional convention, state treas- 
urer 1777 8!) ; director of U, S. Mint 1792-5, and was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society 
in 1795, lie was employed in fixing the boundaries of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New 
York and other states. D. at Phila., June 20, 17!>U.— (liarton's Life of Rittenhouse.) 

7. Journals of Congress, iv, 007. 

82 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

months, the line was finally run by transit on a course north 15 
deg. 12 min. 9 sec. east (magnetic). The line was found to pass 
over an exceedingly rough country, and the commissioners did 
not reach the northwest corner, near Williamstown, until Au- 
gust 4. During the survey the instrumental observations were 
taken by liittenhouse and Simon De Witt, and the lineal- meas- 
urements were made by Gerard Bancker. The party consisted 
of Messrs. Hittenhouse, Ewing, Ilutchins, representing the gen- 
eral government, Bancker and De Witt in behalf of New York, 
and Edwards, Sedgwick and Williams in behalf of Massachu- 
setts, with a number of guides and assistants. The line when 
completed was found to measure 50 miles, 41 chains and 79 
links in length. 1 The work was performed with such accuracy, 
that so far as is known, not the slightest dispute has ever arisen 
in reference to it during the 1)8 years which have elapsed since 
its completion. 

The New Haven conference of 1767, while it did not result 
in an actual agreement, nevertheless came so near it as to render 
it certain the boundary would ultimately be established at a dis- 
tance of about 20 miles from Hudson's river, and hence that the 
settlements which had been made by the New England people 
in Nobletown, Spencertown and New Canaan would fall within 
the jurisdiction of New York. 

In May of that year the proprietors of Spencertown made 
what was probably their last appeal to the authorities of the old 
province. On the 7th of that month, it was "Voted that a me- 
morial be forthwith sent to Boston by the Committee with 
Noble town and tockonock .Requesting the protection of the 
Government of the massachusetts Bay. Voted, to join with 
nobletown in sending a man to see Mr. Ingorsal as an ator- 
ney." 2 

So far as appears from the records, Robert Livingston made 
no further effort to maintain his claim to the lands on Taconic 
mountain, after the results of the New Haven conference had 

1. The journal and field notes of the survey are in Field Book No. 40, in the office of 
the N. Y. State Engineer and Surveyor, pp. 1-50, and a Ms. map (No. OH in same office) 
was copied from the original in the State Department at Washington by Simon De Witt. 
Another copy is in the Massachusetts Archives, where the writer examined if in 1885. It 
is well executed, and exhibits the topography for some lif tie distance on each .side of the 

'£. Ilist. Columbia County (Art. Spencertown). 

The Western B<mndaryqf Massachusetts. 83 

indicated the approximate position of the boundary. On March 

15th and 2i)th, 1757, the settlers purchased these land.-, in two 
separate parcels from the Stockbridge Indians. 1 These pur- 
chases, so far as they were situated to the eastward of the 20- 
mile line, were confirmed by a grant of the province of Massa- 
chusetts Bay in 1774, and lands have since been held under 
titles derived from the proprietors of this grant. The town- 
ship was incorporated under its present name of Mount Wash- 
ington in lllSk It is to be regretted that in their determina- 
tion to sweep away every vestige of the hated manorial propri- 
etorship, the inhabitants should have gone to the length of re- 
placing the significant and beautiful name of Taconic,^ by the 
patriotic but nevertheless inappropriate one of Mount Washing- 
ton. It is to be hoped that we may yet witness the restoration 
of the ancient and historical name of the oldest settlement of 

In 1768, the "great cause," as it was termed, between the 
Crown and John Van Rensselaer was tried before Justice Jones 
at New York. This suit was technically for an intrusion upon 
the Crown lands, but its real object was to determine the legal 
extent and limits of the Claverack manor. The verdict of the 
jury was in favor of Van Kensselaer, but nevertheless for rea- 
sons which do not fully appear, in a petition to the governor of 
New York in 177<>, the latter offered to surrender the disputed 
portion of the Claverack patent on condition of receiving a con- 
firmatory grant of the remainder. 3 This compromise was accord- 
ingly effected in 1773, and the eastern portion of the patent 

1. The firs' of these tracts corresponds approximately with the present township of 
Copake, and the Indian deed is in Springfield records (Ms.), i, 144. The second tract is 
substantially the present town of .Mount Washington, and is in Springfield records, i, 11. 
The conveyance is from Benjamin Kaukecwenoh and others to John Dibble and 40 
others, and the consideration is .£75. 

2. Taglikiui'nuc, Taughkaughuick, mod. Taconic Mts. The name has been said to 
mean " water enough " and to have been taken from a spring on the west side of Mount 
Tom in Copake, N. V., which was a favorite resort of the Indians. (Hough's Gaz. N. Y., 
£19.) This interpretation is certainly wrong, but of a dozen more probable ones that 
might be suggested, it cannot be affirmed that any is certainly right. The least object- 
ionable is " forest " or " wilderness," the Delaware tachanigen which Leisberger trans- 
lates by " woody,' 1 " lull of woods," but literally " wild land," ' forest." A sketch of 
Shekomcko, (Dutchess county, N. Y.), drawn by a Moravian missionary in 174"), shows 
in the distance eastward a mountain summit marked " K'tafcanatschttn, the big moun- 
tain," (Moravian Memorial, <W,) a name which resolves itself into ket-takoii£-uadchn, 
great woody mountain, i. e. great Taconic mountain. (Trumbull's Indian Names of 
Conn. ) The name is spelled twenty or thirty different ways in the Archives of New York. 
Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

■i. New York Land Papers (Ms.) xxix, 55. 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

was surrendered to the Crown, from which circumstance it was 
for many years known as the King's district. 1 

In 1771 and 1772, the inhabitants of Nobletown, Spencer- 
town 2 and New Canaan, 3 petitioned the New York government 
for grants of their respective townships. The sons of Conraet 
Borghghar&t also petitioned for a grant of the tract near Kin- 
kerhook, which had been purchased by him from the Indians in 
172!), 4 and so also did a number of the Indians themselves, who 
had served during the French and Indian war, and who repre- 
sented that the lands they asked for had never been sold by 
their ancestors. 5 

In 177-1, Nathaniel Colver and James Savage were sent to 
England by the inhabitants of the three townships, to secure a 
royal grant continuing their titles to the lands on which they 
were settled, but owing no doubt to the growing disaffection 
between the colonies and the royal government, they were not 
successful in their mission. 15 These troubles were not finally 
terminated until an act of the legislature of the state of New 
York in 1791, confirmed the title of the settlers to all lands 
then actually occupied by them. It is a satisfaction to know 
that these lands at last came into the hands of the persons who 
had fairly purchased them, and not stolen them from the right- 
ful owners. 

After the defeat of the. anti-renters in 176(5, and the flight of 
Noble and Loomis into New England, they did not again rally 
in force — at least under the same pretext, — for a quarter of a 
century. Many acts of violence occurred within this region 
during the Revolutionary period, but these perhaps were due in 
a great measure to the political animosities of the times. In 
1701, the disturbances recommenced at Nobletown. An armed 
mob assembled who threatened and finally assassinated the 
sheriff of Columbia county while in the performance of his du- 
ties. Intense excitement prevailed, but the vigorous measures 

The spirit of 

Kind's district was 

of the authorities soon quelled the- outbreak. 

1. New York Land Papers (Ms.), xxxii, 138, 157 ; ibid, xxxiii, 2. 

officially established Mar. 24, 1772. 

2. Ibid, xxxii, 114. 

3. Ibid, xxxii, 110; xxxiii, G. 
1. Ibid, xxxiii, 4, 5. 

5. Ibid, xxxiii, 49. 50. 

6. Hough's Ouzetteer of N. Y., 230. 

7. For a somewhat full account of the anti-rent disturbances in Columbia county, ea 
pecially subsequent to the Involution, see llistury of Columbia County. 

The Western Boundary of Massachusetts. 85 

anti-rentism, though not dead, was not noticeably manifested 
for the next fifty years, but in 1839, the disaffected tenants of 
all the manors combined and perfected an extensive association. 
They ultimately succeeded in getting the political control of the 
state into their hands by holding the balance of power between 
the regular parties, and by well devised Legislative measures in 
virtually dealing a death-blow to the feudal system. This re- 
sult was but the logical sequence of the policy of dishonesty 
and greed deliberately adopted by the original lords of the 
manors. Their unlawful appropriation of unpurchased lands 
put into the hands of an equally unscrupulous enemy an oppor- 
tunity for mischief, which he was not slow to use in further- 
ance of his own ends. The name of rebellion against the land 
monopolists, kindled by David Ingersoll in 175'J, was not 
quenched for a century. With now and then an outbreak it 
smouldered until 1852, when the anti-renters finally triumphed 
in a test case which had been carried to the Court of Appeals, 
and to the satisfaction of all good citizens this disturbing ele- 
ment disappeared forever from the political history of the state 
of New York. 

Judicial History o 



Part I. 

The subject originally suggested for this paper was a sketch 
of the early members of the Berkshire Bar, but it seemed upon 
consideration, that the early magistrates of the county were en- 
titled to remembrance, and that it would better serve the pur- 
poses of this society if an attempt was made at the beginning 
of a judicial history of the comity, and that the events related 
should be consecutively stated, including such brief biographies 
as might be made from accessible materials. This paper may 
therefore be styled a sketch of the early judicial history of 
Berkshire, with notices of its early magistrates and lawyers. It 
is of necessity made up to a great extent of details chiefly inter- 
esting to the legal profession, and free use has been made of 
materials gathered by others, especially the historians of Pitts- 
field and Great Barrington. 

The settlement of the county of Berkshire, till then a wilder- 
ness, was inaugurated in 1722, by a grant made by the General 
Court, in answer to a petition of inhabitants of Hampshire 
county, of the "upper and lower Iiousatonic townships," and a 
deed was soon afterwards procured, extinguishing the Indian 
title, with some reservations, to the territory now embraced in 
the towns of Sheffield, and Great Barrington, and portions of 
Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Alford and Lee. The settle- 
ment commenced, we are told, in 1725-6, and Matthew Noble 
of Westtield was the first settler. When he established himself 
in his solitary home in Sheffield, an unbroken wilderness lay 
between him and Canada; on the east, his nearest neighbors 
were in his old home in Westtield; on the south there might 
have been found, perhaps, two or three families at Salisbury; 
westward there were no inhabitants nearer than the settlements 
on the banks of the Hudson."* 

♦Later investigations indicate still earlier settlements within the limits of the present 
town of Mount Washington, perhaps also in Egremont. 


JBerhshi/pe Historical and Scientific Society. 

The settlement of the county from this time proceeded more 

or less rapidly, subject to the varying conditions of the prospec 
tive settlers, the interruptions caused by the still continuing In- 
dian wars, and the difficulties over the undefined boundary line 
between Massachusetts and New York, until the organization of 
the county in 1761. 

At the time the settlement of the county commenced, and 
thence down to the Revolution, the judicial system of the prov- 
ince comprised a " Superior Court of Judicature" with origi- 
nal and appellate jurisdiction throughout the province, corres- 
ponding in a great degree to our Supreme Judicial Court, and 
holding its sessions in the several counties: a court called the 
''Inferior Court of Common Pleas" for each county, consisting 
of four justices, of whom three were necessary to form a quo- 
rum, which had "cognizance of all civil actions * * * * 
triable at the common law, of what nature, kind or quality, 
soever;" and a Court of Sessions in each county comprised of 
its justices of the peace, which had a limited criminal jurisdic- 
tion, and managed the prudential affairs of the county. Jus- 
tices of the peace had a separate jurisdiction in minor matters, 
both civil and criminal, and from their judgments there was a 
right of appeal to the Common Pleas and Court of Sessions. 
There was also a Probate Court having jurisdiction as at the 
present time. 

The Superior Court never held any sessions in Berkshire, all 
its causes arising in this county being heard at the terms holden 
in the county of Hampshire. Judicial business was thus local- 
ized, and the courts with which the inhabitants of the county 
were familiar, Avere those presided over by the local magistrate*. 
AH judicial officers were appointed by, and held their ofHces at 
the pleasure of the Crown or its representative, the governor of 
the province, with the consent of the Council. 

The county of Hampshire was created in lu'(>2, and although 
its boundaries seem to be loosely defined, it did in fact extend 
so far as to embrace territory now included in the states of Xew 
Hampshire and Connecticut, and a portion of the county of 
Worcester and extended westward to the province line. Thu> 
during the period which elapsed after the settlement of this 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 91 

county commenced, down to 1701, the inhabitants of its terri- 
tory were within the county of Hampshire and amenable to 
the jurisdiction of its magistrates, some of whom were among 
their own number. I tind that during this period two of the 
justices of the Court of Common Pleas for Hampshire county 
were citizens of Berkshire: Epiiraim Williams appointed in 
1741, and Joseph D wight in 1753. 

Epheaim "Williams 

Was son of Capt. Isaac Williams, and bora at Newton, October 
21, 1691. Tie married and settled in Newton, and removed to 
Stockbridge in 1739, having possibly lived for a time in Hat- 
field, where his brother, Rev. William Williams, was settled/ 
He was appointed a justice of the peace in Middlesex in 1735. 
Tradition affirms that when he removed to Stockbridge, he car- 
ried his younger children in panniers upon a horse. His was 
one of four English families provided for in the original settle- 
ment of Stockbridge. His home in Stockbridge was on the 
hill over-looking the present village street, oil or near the site 
afterwards occupied by jRev. Dr. West. He was a man of de- 
cided position and influence in his new home ; was a colonel in 
the militia, and hence is sometimes confounded with his son of 
the same name, the founder of Williams College. He resigned 
his office of justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1749, and 
died while on a visit to his son, Dr. Thomas Williams, in Au- 
gust 1754, and was buried at Deertield. 

The only persons, residents of Berkshire whom I tind to have 
been commissioned as justices of the peace, an office then of 
very considerable dignity and importance, before the year 17<U, 
other than the justices of the Court of Common Pleas who have' 
been or ma}' hereafter be referred to, were David Ingersoll 
and Jabez Ward. 

David Ingersoll was the son of Thomas Ingersoll of West- 
field, and after a residence in Springfield and Brookfield, settled 
in Great Barrington, then a part of Sheffield, as early perhaps, 
as 1735. He was vigorous, energetic, perhaps audacious, in his 
business enterprises. He became interested largely in real es- 
tate, and in or about 1739, he was the occupant, if not the owner 

92 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

of the water power now belonging to the Berkshire Woolen 
Company, and there erected a dam, saw and grist mill, and a 
forge and trip-hammer for the manufacture of bar iron. [Ie 
was a captain of the militia and selectman of the town of Shef- 
field, lfe was appointed a justice of the peace September 8, 
1741). lie was not successful in business, became involved in 
difficulties and fell into disrepute, so that he was removed from 
office in 1755. lie died at Great Barrington, March 23, 1773, 
aged 73. 

Jabez Ward was son of Obadiah Ward of Marlborough and 
removed with his family to New Marlborough in 17*11-. lie 
was prominent in the organization of the new town, does not 
seem to have been reappointed after the organization of Berk- 
shire comity, and died at New Marlborough, August 29, 1707, 
aged GO years. 

The increase of population in Berkshire, its distance from 
the Connecticut Biver Valley, and the difficulty of communica- 
tion attendant on the few and imperfect highways of the period, 
led to the formation of the comity in 1761. The act creating 
the new comity went into operation June 30th, of that year. 

At this time, Bittstield and Great Barrington being incorpo- 
rated in the same year, there were in the comity the towns of 
Sheffield, Stockbridge, New Marlborough, Egremont, Great 
Barrington and Bittstield. To these were added before the 
commencement of the Revolution, the towns of Sandisheld and 
Tyringham in 1762; Becket, Richmond, Lanesborongh and 
Williamstown in 1705 ; Lenox in 1707 ; Windsor and Bern in 
1771; Alford and London in 1773, and West Stockbridge in 

The first duty of the executive, after the passage of this act, 
was to organize the new comity by the appointment of its judi- 
cial and executive officers. The go; ernor's chair was then tilled 
by Sir Francis Bernard, who was appointed by the Crown in 
1700. Thomas Hutchinson, a native Bostonian, long familiar 
with the people and politics of the province, was lieutenant 
governor, and Israel Williams was member of the Council for 
the western comities. 

The diligent student of American history cannot have failed 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 93 

to remark that in all the colonies at this period there had grown 
up, under the fostering influence of inonarehial institutions, a 
kind of moderate or modified oligarchy. This was true in Mas- 
sachusetts as elsewhere. Families of wealth, education and so- 
cial standing gathered into their own hands and transmitted 
from generation to generation much of the political influence 
and power of the state, were the friends and counselors of the 
royal governors, and received a large share of the local offices. 
They strengthened themselves by frequent intermarriages, and 
in connection with the clergy, came to he, not offensively, hut 
actually, a kind of local aristocracy, leaders of public opinion 
whose guidance and support were sought. by a numerous client- 
age. In the formative period of the country this condition of 
society was productive of beneficial results. These leading and 
governing men were for the most part honest and patriotic, at- 
tached to their country and its institutions, and watchful and 
jealous of the encroachment of the royal prerogatives. Such 
were the Pynchons of Springfield, the Stoddards of Northamp- 
ton, the Partridges and Porters of Iladley and Hatfield, the 
Dwights of Northampton and Springfield, and the AVilliamses 
of Hatfield and Deerfield. 

This family influence was still further promoted in the coun- 
ty of Hampshire by reason of its peculiar situation. Widely 
separated from the more populous portions of the province, and 
the first point of attack on the breaking out of Indian hostili- 
ties, there was always some one man in Hampshire who stood 
in confidential relations to the government at Boston — the rep- 
resentative to its inhabitants, of official protection and power. 
lie was commonly the military commander of the district, and 
intrusted with large discretionary power when a war was in 
progress. John Pynchon sustained this relation to the govern- 
ment for a long period before his d'.ath, and among his succes- 
sors were Samuel Partridge, John Stoddard, Israel Williams 
and John Worthington. 

The existence of these ruling families had a good deal to do 
with the formation of parties at the period of the Revolution. 
In the progress of events the populace came to look upon them 
with jealousy and disfavor. Doubtless they sometimes used 

94 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

their power for selfish and personal ends. Young and ambi- 
tious men, outside the charmed circle, became impatient of ex- 
elusion. And when the conflict of passion and opinion arose 
under the encroachments of the Crown, it was inevitable from 

their position, that the so called aristocracy should take the con- 
servative side to a large extent, and look with anger and distrust 
upon the young and ardent patriots who were pressing to the 
front: that while not insensible to the invasion of popular 
rights, they should deprecate all rash and desperate measures, 
and cling to the hope of a peaceable adjustment of the difficul- 
ties. Members of some of the families we have named adhered 
to the Crown, to the end of expatriation and confiscation. As 
we now look back dispassionately on the men and events of a 
century, we can see that many of these men acted under honest 
convictions of duty, and that Massachusetts numbered some of 
her best citizens among the loyalists of the Revolution. 

The appointments in Berkshire were made naturally and nec- 
essarily from the class which I have named. They were en- 
tirely unobjectionable and from what we know of the inhabi- 
tants of the county at that time, we cannot see how the offices 
could have been more worthily bestowed. On the w 2-tth June, 
1701, Governor Bernard appointed Joseph Dwight, William 
Williams, John Ashley and Timothy Woodbridge, justices of 
the Court of Common Pleas, Joseph Dwight, judge, and Elijah 
Dwight, register of probate, and Elijah Williams, sheriff. To 
illustrate our remarks upon the perpetuation of family influence 
it may be stated that Joseph Dwight had married a daughter of 
John Pynchon, the second; William Williams was the nephew 
of John Stoddard and Israel Williams; Ashley was a descend- 
ant on the mother's side of John Pynchon, the elder; Wood- 
bridge was from a long line of clergymen and a great-grandson 
of the Apostle Eliot; and Elijah Williams was the youngest 
son of Col. Ephraim Williams before named. 

The Court of Common Pleas as thus constituted was excep- 
tionally strong and fitted for its duties. The courts of this pe- 
riod were not usually entitled to very high respect for judicial 
ability. The justices were not commonly professional men, or 
familiar with judicial proceedings. Very few of the judges of 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 95 

the Superior Court were bred to the Bar. But of the new 
Berkshire judges, Dwight and Ashley were educated lawyers, 
and the former had been a judge for many years. Williams 
and Woodbridge were cultivated and intelligent men and had 
long been magistrates. 

At their first meeting, the justices of the Court of Common 
Pleas made the following entry in their Records; Vol. J, page 
1. I transciibe it as the first official transaction of the new 

" Berkshire ss. At the first meeting of the Justices of the Inferior Court 
of Common Pleas held at the Dwelling house of Timothy Woodbridge, Esq., 
of Stockbridge in said County, on Monday the thirteenth day of July, in the 
first year of the reign of George the Third, of Great Britain, France and 
Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Annoque Domini 1761. 
Present : Joseph Dwight, "| 

William Williams, [ r . 
John Ashley, | ^ bqb> 

Timothy Woodbridge, J 

After having taken and subscribed the oaths appointed by Act of Parlia- 
ment, instead of the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, the Test or Decla- 
ration in said Act contained, together with the oath of Abjuration, the Pre- 
vious oath respecting the Bills of Public Credit of Connecticut, Road Island 
and New Hampshire, and the oath of office, unanimously appointed Mr. 
Elijah Dwight to be the Clerk of said Court, who was sworn to the faithful 
discharge of his said office. • . 

Att. : Joseph Dwight, Praeses." 

At the same time and place, the same persons under another 
commission, organized the Court of Sessions, appointed Elijah 
Dwight, clerk and Mark Hopkins, register of deeds, the latter 
to hold till some person he elected to said office. 

By the statute incorporating the county, Great Harrington 
was made the shire town, and it was provided that the courts 
he held alternately at that place and at Pittstield. The first 
regular sessions of the Court of Common Pleas was held at 
Great Barrington on Tuesday, the first day of September, 1761, 
in the meeting house which stood on the east side of the river, 
near the bridge m the upper part of the village. Seventy-eight 
actions were entered, a jury was in attendance, and there were 
three trials. Mark Hopkins, who was admitted to the Bar at 
tliis term, now tried and won his first case before a jury. The 
second session of the court was held at Pittstield, at the house 

96 Berkskiro Historical and Scientific Society, 

of Colonel Williams, one of the judges, on the first Tuesday of 
December, 17(51. 

The Court of Sessions was held at the same times and places 
as the Court of Common Pleas, Grand and Traverse juries were 
in attendance, crimes and misdemeanors were inquired into, and 
indictments duly presented and tried. The same Traverse jury 
appears to have served in Loth courts. 

The first criminal case tried by a jury was an appeal by one 
John Williams, Jr., wlio had been convicted before a justice of 
the peace of stealing two deer skins. The jury acquitted him. 
The first indictment found by the Grand Jury was against Sam- 
uel Lee of Great Barrington for presuming to he an innholder, 
and selling strong drink without a license. The first indict- 
ment returned by the Grand Jury, which came to a hearing, 
illustrates the spirit of the times. Hewett Itoot of Great Har- 
rington was indicted at the March term, 1702, for that "he did 
"wittingly and willingly suffer and permit Singing, Fiddling 
"and Dancing in his Dwelling house, there being then a Tavern 
"or Public Licensed House." He pleaded guilty and was lined 
ten shillings and costs. And a further illustration is found in 
the fact that at the same term Justices Dwiglit and Ashley were 
licensed as Retailers of Spirituous Liquors, and their associates 
on the Bench became their sureties. 

The Court of Sessions made early provision for the erection 
of a Court House and Jail in Great Barrington, but as late as 
1705, they were still unfinished. Israel Dewey's house which 
stood some distance north of the village and was originally con- 
structed as a "Block-house" was fitted up and used as a jail for 
several years. 

The Court House was a plain unpretending wooden structure 
of about 30 by 40 feet, and stood in and near the west side of 
Main street, in front of the entrance to Castle street, then only 
a lane leading to the residence of lie v. Samuel Hopkins. It 
was high "between joints," finished on the ground floor only, 
and had, neither cupola nor spire. The Jail was a few rods 
southwest of the Court House, and not far from the site of the 
present Episcopal church.. 

The records of the Court of Common Pleas show some pecu- 

Judicial History of Berks /tire. 07 

liarities. There was not, so far as we can learn, if we except 
Justices Dwight and Ashley, a practicing attorney within the 
county, at the time of its organization, and the appearance in 
the courts of lawyers from Hampshire county and the neighbor- 
ing colony of Connecticut was continuous up to the time of the 
Revolution. Joseph llawley of Northampton, John Worth- 
ington and Moses Bliss of Springfield were quite constant in 
their attendance, and more rarely came Jonathan Bliss of 
Springfield, Simeon Strong of Amherst, and Cyrus Marsh of 
Windham County, and John Caniield of Sharon, Conn. 

The justices of the court seem to have been accustomed to 
prosecute and defend their own cases in their own court, and 
the scarcity of lawyers led to the employment of non-profes- 
sional attorneys. Jabez Ward, Esq., before named, appeared 
often in behalf of his neighbors, as did Joseph Gilbert and 
William King of Great Barringtori; the latter a man of imper- 
fect education, but of line natural endowments. The court was 
empowered by law to make rules of practice, but none are 
found of record during the period we are considering. The 
wild and unsettled condition of the county is manifested by 
such description of parties as the following, which are frequent: 
" Jonathan Hinsdale living on a tract of land north of Stock- 
" bridge in the county of Berkshire." This was in 1763 ? and 
the locality is in the present village of Lenox. "Asa Hills liv- 
kk ing in the Green woods, so called, on the road from Pittstield 
"to No. 4." &c., &e. 

The common law forms were closely followed, and great 
strictness in pleading seems to have been required, notwith- 
standing the statute provision enacted as early as 1701, that 
" no writ * * * '* shall be abated * * *'* for any 
"kind of circumstantial errors or mistakes when the person and 
"case may be rightly understood and intended by the court, 
"nor through defect or want of form, only, and the Justices on 
kl motion made in court, may order amendment thereof." 

The following record at September term, 1768, illustrates 
the precision required by the court, and is in marked contrast 
with the liberality, perhaps I might say looseness allowed in 
pleading at the present time. 


98 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

"George Witmot of Hartford in the County of Hartford and 
Colony of Connecticut, Gentleman, Plaintiff against James 
Cray, Jr., of Stockbridge in the County of Berkshire, Gentle- 
man, Defendant. In a plea of the case." The defendant came 
into court and prayed that the writ might he abated for these 

1. " For that he the said James long before the purchase <>f 
this writ, by a good and lawful commission from Francis Ber- 
nard, Esq., Captain General of J lis Majesty's Province of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, was appointed, constituted and made a Major of 
a Brigade to the forces raised by the said Francis Bernard, to 
be employed in His Majesty's service, in the year of our Lord 
1762, under the command of His Excellency (-Jen. Amherst, 
and therefore that he has not his proper addition given him in 
said writ, for that he should therein have been called James 
Gray, Esquire, and not James Gray, Gentleman. 

'2. "Because the plaintiff calls himself of Hartford, etc., 
whereas before and at the time of the purchase of said writ, he 
lived at and belonged to Albany in the Comity of Albany, in 
the Province of New York, and ought to have been so called. 

3. " Because the plaintiff hath given himself the addition of 
Gentleman, whereas the said James says the plaintiff is not a 
Gentleman, and ought to have been called George Wilmot, 
Yeoman, and not George Wilmot, Gentleman." The court 
after consideration and inquiry ordered that the writ abate, and 
the said James recover his costs. 

At the same term a Writ was abated because the plaintiff 
called himself of the county of Dutche/w and not Dutches*-, 
"whereas there is no such county as Dutche/'s ;" and another in 
which John Bement, the defendant, was named as John De- 
ment, Jun'r, of New Marlborough — " whereas there is no such 
person in nature as John Beirtent, . e/*MiV, of Now Marlborough." 

The first Probate Court was held at Great Barrington, July 
30, 1761, and the court continued to be held there until after 
the death of Judge D wight, and thence alternately at Great 
Barrington, Stockbridge and Pittstield. 

The sessions of the Court of Common Pleas terminated with 
the May term, 1774, the August term being broken up by a popu- 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 99 

tar demonstration which isa matter of history. Judge Dwight 
died in 1705, and was succeeded by Perez Marsh; otherwise 

the composition of the court was unchanged previous to the 
Revolution. Col. William Williams succeeded Dwight as Judge 

4 of Probate, and held his last court August IT, 1.774. The office 

of the Register of Deeds was kept open until July, 1770, [Kir- 
haps the period when the term of the incumbent expired. 

From 1774 to 1780, the late Province of Massachusetts Bay 
was governed by its Assembly and a Council which was elected 
by this representative body, and which acted as the executive 
in place of the royal governor. The continuance of this form 
of government was regarded in Western Massachusetts and es- 
pecially in Berkshire as an usurpation, and the opening of the 
courts under its authority was steadily resisted. The history of 
this controversy is very clearly given in Smith's History of Pitts- 
field. This sentiment was not unanimous and there is a record 

* of a Court of Sessions held at Pittstield, November 28, 1775,* at 

which Theodore Sedgwick was appointed clerk, and which ad- 
journed to December 20, 1775, and again to February, 1770. 
There is no record of the last session, and at the first no busi- 
ness was transacted except the granting of licenses. There is 
no further record in the clerk's office until 17S1. 

The Council asserted their authority as the rightful executive 
of the Commonwealth by making from time to time judicial 
and executive appointments in the county. Mark Hopkins and 
Erastus Sergeant were respectively appointed judge and regis- 
ter of Probate in September, 1775, and John Ashley, John 
Bacon, William Whitney and John Brown, justices of the 
Court of Common Pleas, February 10, 1779, but it does not ap- 
pear that any of the persons named ever undertook to perforin 
the duties of said offices. Israel Dickinson was appointed sheriff 
August 29, 1775, and again April 10, 1777, and John Fellows 
was appointed to the same office January 30, 1778. There is 
documentary evidence that these two gentlemen assumed to 
act in this office, but as no courts were holden and no precepts 
issued, their opportunities for official action were infrequent. 


♦This is probably the "Court'! referred to in the Pittstield memorial of Dee. H&, 1775. 
as having been lately " held in this town in a clandestine manner." 

100 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

It appears also from the same evidence that in 1777 and 1778, 
a body assuming to be the "Court of General Sessions of the 
Peace" held two or more sessions at Great Harrington, and 
committed certain Tories to the jail, hut as before stated there 
is no record of the doings of the courts from 1775 to 1 7 s 1 . 

The time given to this paper will not allow further details of 
the earl)- judicial proceedings of the county. When we relate 
the little we have learned of the lives and characters of our 
early magistrates and lawyers, we speak of the men to whom 
was appointed the duty of founding the civil institutions of the 
county, and enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth, and the 
ability and fidelity which they gave to this service is felt in our 
institutions to-day. Yet so soon does the memory of a man, 
however active and honorable, fade away among his fellows, 
their names are as strange to most of the inhabitants of this 
county, as if their lives had been spent beyond the seas, and 
their bones rested in a foreign soil. 

Joseph Dwight 

Was son of Capt. Henry Dwight of Hatfield, and a descendant 
of John Dwight who emigrated in 1034-5, and settled at Ded- 
ham. Tie was born at Hatfield, October 1G, 1703, and gradu- 
ated at Harvard in 1722. He studied law and resided several 
years in Springfield, where he was engaged in trade and where 
he married Mary Pynchon, August 11, 1720. About 1730 he 
removed to Brookfield, where he entered upon the practice of 
the law, and in 1731 and for ten successive years he represented 
Brookfield in the General Court. He was also a member of 
the Provincial Council, and in 1748-9, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives. In 1739 he was appointed Judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas of Worcester county. In addition 
to his legal and judicial employments, he devoted much time 
to military affairs, was a colonel of militia, and at the time 
of the expedition against Louisbourgh on Cape Breton was 
commissioned a brigadier general, February 20, 1745, by Gov. 
Shirley, [n that year he distinguished himself as commander 
of the Massachusetts artillery at the seige and capture of Louis- 
bourgh, and was commended by General Pepperell who com- 


Judicial History of Berkshire. 101 

manded in the expedition. He soon after raised a regiment for 
a proposed expedition against Canada, but it was for the most 
part employed in frontier service. 

Not long after the death of bis wife, which occurred March 
29, 1751, lie removed to Stockbridge as a "Trustee of the In- 
dian Schools," and there married Mrs. Abigail Sergeant, widow 
of Rev. John Sergeant, in August, 1752. From 1753 to 17CJ1, 
he was one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas for 
Hampshire county. In the second French war — 1750— he com- 
manded a regiment in service about Lakes George and Cham- 
plain, and soon after his return from this campaign removed to 
Great Barrington, probably in 1757. Here in 1751) he erected 
the house known in late years as the '"Henderson " house, then 
considered a very fine one, which is still well-preserved, and if 
spared by the hand of improvement may last through another 
century. He died at Great Barrington, June 9, 1765. 

In a notice of General Dwight in the History of Berkshire 
(1828), it is said : " His personal appearance was very fine. He 
was dignified in his manners, an upright judge, and an exem- 
plary professor of the religion of the gospel. No man in the 
county, in civil life, was more esteemed; and aged people still 
speak of him with great respect." Another writer says: "He 
was a man of singular veracity, and all who knew him spoke of 
his virtues with enthusiasm." 

He called and presided at the first meeting of the proprietors 
of Pittstield in 1753. There is extant a portrait of Judge 
Dwight, painted by Blackburn, the predecessor of Copley, which 
justilies the statement before given, respecting his personal ap- 

William Williams, 
Down to the period of the Revolution, was the most prominent 
and important personage in the county, north of Stockbridge, 
and closed at Pittstield a life of great activity, and varied and 
extensive public service. He was son of Rev. William Will- 
iams of Weston, and grandson of Itev. William Williams of 
Hatfield, was born at Weston in 171 1, and graduated at Harvard 
in 17 w 2 ( .). lie studied medicine and commenced the practice of 

♦This sketch is taken almost entirely from the History of Great Barrington. 

102 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

his profession, but soon abandoned it and established himself in 
the mercantile business in Boston. In this lie seems to have 
been unsuccessful, and in 174:0 lie obtained an ensign's commis- 
sion under Gen. Oglethorpe, and was engaged in the expedition 
against St. Augustine, and in the following year in that against 
Carthagenia, under Admiral Vernon. He returned to Massachu- 
setts, and seems after this time to have had his home in Hamp- 
shire county. In 1744 he was an officer in the Hampshire mili- 
tia, and engaged in the construction of a line of forts across tin; 
northern frontier, including Fort Massachusetts. In the sum- 
mer of 1715, he raised a company, many of whom were from 
Ilattield and its vicinity, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel, 
and sailed for Louisburgh, arriving however, after the reduc- 
tion of the place. His regiment formed the garrison of Louis- 
burgh until the following spring. Returning home he was at- 
tached to the regiment of which Gen. Joseph Dwight was colo- 
nel, and in 1747 was in command of a detachment engaged in 
rebuilding Fort Massachusetts, which had been destroyed by the 
enemy in 1740, and when the regiment was disbanded he ob- 
tained a position as commissary on other service. He was com- 
missioned a justice of the peace for Hampshire, November IS, 
1748. From November, 1749, (perhaps earlier), he was in the 
mercantile business in Deerfield. 

He was one of the parties who obtained from Gov. Went- 
worth of New Hampshire, a grant of the township of Benning- 
ton, but through the persuasion of his relatives who were largely 
interested in the new plantation, and the further inducement of 
the gift of a tract of land, he established himself in Pittstield, 
in the latter part of the year 1753, and erected a house in the 
easterly part of the town, upon or near the site of the dwelling 
of Amasa Rice. After the alarm caused by the raid of the sav- 
ages upon Stockbridge in 1754, which caused a temporary aban- 
donment of Pittsfield, this house was strongly fortitied and 
named Fort Anson, and was the home of the settlers on their 
return, until confidence was restored. In 1755 he accepted a 
captain's commission in the regiment, of Sir William Pepperell, 
and served three campaigns. In 1758 he was commissioned 
colonel, and raised and commanded a regiment which took part 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 103 

in the disastrous expedition under Gen. Abercroinbie. His 
military career terminated with this campaign. 

From this time until the lie volution he resided in Pittsfield, 
tilling almost continuously the offices of selectman, town clerk, 
and representative to the General Court, as well as his more im- 
portant county offices. lie removed from his original location 
and built a large house on the hill in what is now called Ilona- 
sada street, a portion of which remains and forms the dwelling 
of Mr. Edmund Spencer. 

The opening of the controversy which ushered in the Revo- 
lution was undoubtedly a grief and embarrassment to Colonel 
Williams. lie was a half -pay British officer; his family con- 
nections and his more important friends were inclined to side 
with the Crown, and his own tastes, education and associations 
naturally drew him in the same direction. But the number of 
ardent and impetuous Whigs continually multiplied around him. 
They grew to look upon him with suspicion and distrust, while 
he temporized and waited, and he seems for three or four years 
to have been left out of the town offices which he usually held. 
Apparently he remained as nearly neutral as was possible, and 
his friends and neighbors appreciating the situation, gradually 
restored him to favor. We find him again one of the selectmen 
in 1777; he was at the head of the local court established about 
this time by the town; a member of the Constitutional conven- 
tion in 1771), and we believe afterwards a representative to the 
General Court, He died April 5, 1785. 

Colonel Williams was of sanguine temperament, able, enter- 
prising and active, ready with his pen as with his sword, hospi- 
table and generous, profuse in expenditure and fond of display. 
He lacked economy and foresight, and was unfortunate in his 
business enterprises. His later life was a constant struggle with 
pecuniary embarrassment as the record of suits brought against 
him in his own court abundantly testify. But he seems never 
to have forfeited the respect and esteem of his fellow-citizens, 
and to have fulfilled with ability and fidelity all his public 
trusts. He was three times married, and left descendants 
through his daughter Miriam, who became the second wife of 
Capt. James D. Colt, and his son William Pepperell, who 

104 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

joined the Shakers wttli nearly all his family, 70 years ago. 
Augustus Wells Williams of the West 1'ittslield family of Sha- 
kers is his grandson; and another deseeudant was the late Rob- 
ert Colt of this town. 

John Ashley 

Was horn at Westfield, December 2, L709, and graduated at 
Yale in 1730. lie was son of Col. John Ashley, who was for 
many years one of the justices -of the Court of Common Pleas 
in Hampshire, and was one of the eonnnittee to advance the 
settlement of the llousatonic townships, in whose lands he he- 
came largely interested, and whose estate in Sheffield ultimately 
descended to his son. The subject of this notice was admitted 
to the Bar in Hampshire in L732, and soon after settled in Shef- 
field, where he was to some extent engaged in the practice of 
the law. He was an extensive land owner and a merchant, 
represented his town often in the Legislature, was a colonel in 
the militia, and after 1753 a justice of the peace. He acquired 
large wealth for the times, and the locality, and was able to sup- 
ply the county with ready money towards the erection of the 
county buildings in 1701. He acquired an unenviable notoriety 
while he represented Sheffield and Great Harrington in the 
General Court in 170S-0, by voting with 16 others to " rescind " 
a certain circular which had been issued by the General Court, 
on the demand of Gov. Bernard. Col. Ashley at this time rep- 
resented the towns of Sheffield, Great Harrington and Egre- 
niont. His vote was condemned by the town of Great Barring- 
ton in town meeting assembled; and the obnoxious 17 were 
branded as " reseinders " and held up to public scorn and con- 
tempt. He was however re-elected the following year. l\v 
arrayed himself upon the popular side at the outbreak of the 
Revolution, presided at the County convention held at Stock- 
bridge, duly 0, 1 77-1, which adopted the non-importation and 
non-consumption agreement, and was a firm and consistent Whig 
throughout the contest. 

When the Legislature of Massachusetts undertook to govern 
the province under the forms of the old charter, committing the 
executive functions to the Council, Col. Ashley was appointed. 

! V 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 105 

February, 1779, one of the judges of the Court of Common 
Pleas for Berkshire, but the court was never organized, lie 
died at Sheffield, September 1, 1802, having attained to nearly 
the age of 93 years. 

He was patriarchal in appearance, of* middling size, and do- 
mestic habits. The impression we have of him is that lie wa- 
in many respects the reverse of his associate Col. Williams — 
careful, prudent, commencing life with a reasonable capital, 
which lie increased by industry and good management. 

Among his possessions were a number of negro slaves, which 
he seems to have, been inclined to retain in bondage, after 
the declaration of independence. Hence the noted case >f 
" Brom and Bet v. Ashley, 11 commenced by writ of personal 
replevin at the August term of the Court of Common Pleas, 
1781. It appears that these persons were slaves of Col. Ashley, 
and under some harsh provocation had tied from their master, 
a and been reclaimed. Theodore Sedgwick, then living in Shef- 

held, interested himself in their behalf, and this writ was the 
result. The defendant pleaded that the plaintiffs were his legal 
negro servants for life, and upon this plea issue was joined. 
The plaintiffs were represented by Mr. Sedgwick and Tapping 
Peeve, the distinguished lawyer of Litchfield, Ct., and the de- 
fendant by David Noble of Williamstown and John Canfield 
of Sharon, Ct. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs, 
and the defendant appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court, but 
the appeal was not prosecuted, and the judgment of the court 
below was affirmed. It does not appear whether the case was 
decided upon general principles, or the special circumstances of 
the case. It has been claimed that this judgment abolished 
slavery in Massachusetts. It would probably be more correct 
to say that it was one among the events which produced that 
result. The female plaintiff continued an attached servant in 
the Sedgwick family, and was, I suppose, the veritable "Mum 
Bet' 1 of literature and history. 

Col. Ashley left numerous descendants, some of whom are 
still living: in Sheffield. 

106 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 


"Was son of Rev. John "Woodbridge of West Springfield, and 
born February 11, 1709. Tie first came to Stockbridge as an 
assistant to Rev. John Sergeant, the missionary to the Indians, 
in 1734, and was married and fixed his abode in that place in 
November, 1736. His house in which the first meeting of the 
justices took place, as has been stated, was on the site of the 
dwelling-house of Samuel Goodrich, south of the river, on the 
road to Great Barrington and near the residence of Capt. John 
Konkapot, the Chief of the Stockbridge tribe. How long he 
continued his services as teacher of the Indians does not appear, 
but he ever continued in their confidence, and was the principal 
medium of communication between them and the authorities at 
Boston, and largely entrusted with the oversight of their prop- 
erty and persons. He was greatly interested in the civilization 
and conversion of the Indians, and made a missionary journey 
to the Susquehanna, in company with Rev. Gideon Hawley, in 
1753. He was a justice of the peace from 1756, represented 
his town in the Legislature, and was a member of the Council 
in 1771-2-3. From his staid and conservative character, Gov. 
Hutchinson had strong hopes of retaining him on the side of 
the Crown, and he was one of the Mandamus Councilors ap- 
pointed l>y the King in 1774. This appointment was probably 
made after his death, and before it was known in England. He 
died at Stockbridge, May 11, 1774, leaving two sons, of whom 
one, Enoch, graduated at Yale in 1774, served in the army dur- 
ing nearly the whole period of the Revolutionary war, and set- 
tled at Vergennes, Vt., where he was a prominent lawyer and 
judge — and several daughters. He has descendants in the fe- 
male line now living in this county. 

Perez Marsh 

Was the son of Capt. Job Marsh, and born at Iladley, October 
25, 1729, and graduated at Yale in 1748. He was a physician 
and surgeon's mate in the regiment of Col. Ephraim Williams, 
the younger, when the latter was killed at Lake George in 1755. 
Between that time and 17G1, he settled at Ashuelot Equivalent, 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 107 

now Dalton. He was appointed a justice of the peace June 24, 
17H1, a special justice of the Court of Common Pleas, June 6, 
1765, and a standing justice of said court, to succeed General 
Dwight, September 4, 1765. He was a man of intelligence and 
character, but his appointments were probably due quite as 
much to the fact that he was a grandson of Samuel Porter, and 
son-in-law to Israel Williams. He did nut sympathize with the 
popular party and seems to have retired from public life in 
1774. He died at Dalton, May 20, 1784:, leaving two suns and 
several daughters. The daughters married in Pittsfield and 
have descendants here. The late Henry Marsh, Es(p, of Dal- 
ton, was his grandson. 

Elijah Dwight, 

The first clerk of the courts and register of probate, was the 
son of Gen. Joseph Dwight, and born at Brookfield, April 23, 
1740. He held the above offices until the Revolution, and 
September 6, 1765, was appointed a justice of the peace and a 
special justice of the Court of Common Pleas. It is under- 
stood that he did not sympathize very strongly with the popu- 
lar leaders in the Revolutionary contest. He certainly was nut 
a very active Whig. But he was a man of the highest charac- 
ter and standing, and never in any respect obnoxious to his fel- 
low citizens. He was repeatedly a representative from Great 
Harrington, a member of the State Senate from 1788 to 1703, 
a member of the convention which ratified the Federal Consti- 
tution in 1788, and one of the justices of the Court of Common 
Pleas from 1787 until his death. He died at Brookfield, June 
12, 1704. His residence in Great Barrington was the house 
built by his father and now standing. He married a daughter 
of Dr. Thomas Williams of Deerfield, but has no living de- 

Elijah Williams, 
The first sheriff of the county was the son of Col. Ephraim 
Williams of Stockbridge, and burn November 15, 1732. He 
removed to that part of Stockbridge which is now West 
Stockbridge in 1766, and occupied the water power and 
erected Iron Works in what is now West Stockbridge village. 

108 Berkshire, Historical atu/ Scientific Society. 

Pie held his olKce till 1774, but whether he resigned or was su- 
perseded, dues not appear, lie is styled colonel in the old rec- 
ords, as is also Elijah Dwight; indeed every man of good 
standing seems to have been a colonel, in the olden time, lie 
returned to Stockbridge in the latter part of his life, and died 
there June % 1815. He left one son, since deceased without 

Israel Stoddard 

Was appointed sheriff in place of Elijah Williams, February 18, 
1774, but the coining in of the Revolution which swept from 
otfiee all who held under the Crown, afforded him but little 
time in which to enjoy the emoluments, or discharge the duties 
of his new position. He was a son of the famous Col. John 
Stoddard, and born at Northampton in 1741, and graduated at 
Yale in 1758. He married Eunice, daughter of Col. Israel 
Williams, and settled in Pittsheld, where his father had a large 
interest in lands. His residence was in the vicinity of the 
Judge Curtis farm on the old east road to Lanesborough. He 
was appointed a justice of the peace in 1705, was a major in the 
Berkshire regiment, and received high consideration on the 
score of his own merits and the social standing of his family. 
Habit, association, and family influence combined to place him 
on the conservative side, and he was so free in the utterance of 
his sentiments, that he soon came to be regarded as a bitter 
Tory. When the authorities of Pittsheld undertook to deal 
with him in 1775, he lied to T\ T ew York. He returned to Pitts- 
held after a short absence, but was regarded with suspicion and 
under surveillance for two or three years. At length he gave 
in his adhesion to the " United States of America," and was a 
volunteer at the battle of Bennington in 1777. lie died at 
Pittsheld, June 27, 1782. 

Israel Dickinson, 

Third sheriff of the county, was born at llatheld, about 1735, 
graduated at Yale in 1758, married Mercy, daughter of Col. 
Oliver Partridge of Hatfield, in 1704, and settled in Pittsfield 
about that time. His homestead was the estate owned for many 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 109 

years by the late Judge B. R. Curtis, and his dwelling-house 
was on the site of the present farm-house on said estate. 1 1 i .- 
near neighbors were his classmate, Israel Stoddard, and Wood- 
bridge Little who was two classes below him. He did not ac- 
cord with them in political opinion, but was early and ardently 
devoted to the popular cause. lie was one of the party which 
captured Fort Tieonderoga: lie appeal's to have succeeded to 
the town offices previously held by Colonel Williams, and was 
town clerk, selectman, and representative from 1774. He was 
appointed sheriff August 29, 1775. The Berkshire sentiment, 
though not unanimous, was at the time very decided against the 
exercise of executive authority by the Council. This sentiment 
was especially strong in Pittsheld under the vigorous lead of 
Mr. Allen, the pastor, and Mr. Dickinson probably resigned the 
office, lie was re-appointed April 10, 1777, and apparently 
held his commission at the time of his death, lie died of a 
fever at Pittsheld, Nov. IS, 1777. 

John Fellows 
Was appointed to succeed Captain Dickinson as sheriff of the 
county, January 30, 1778. Born in Pomfret, Ct., about 1735, 
he had settled in Sheffield. He identified himself early with 
the Revolutionary party, was a prominent member of the First 
and Second Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, and com- 
manded the First Berkshire regiment at the siege of Boston. 
lie rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Massachusetts 
militia, saw much service and was in the battles of Long island. 
White Plains and Bemis' Heights. He probably held the office 
of sheriff until the organization of the state government under 
the Constitution of 1780, but the Berkshire sentiment was so 
decided against the exercise of judicial and executive authority 
under Legislative government, that he had but little opportunity 
for official action. He died at Sheffield, August 1, 1808. 

The only other persons (except membeis of the Bar who will 
be separately noticed) who held commissions as justices of the 
peace before the Revolution, were Jonathan Hubbard, the 
first settled minister of Sheffield and of the county, who was 
appointed in 1765, and died the same year; John Chadwick, 

110 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

a prominent citizen of Tyringham, and also one of the 17 " re- 
scinders," and Daniel Brown of Sandisfield, appointed in 
1764; Samuel Todd, the first settled minister in Adams, and 
Joseph Bennett of Cheshire, both appointed in 177<>; Neiik- 
miah Hull, an early settler in Lanesborongh, son of Rev. Wil- 
liam Bull of AVestfield, and Jahleet WooObkidoe of Stock- 
bridge, (afterwards judge of the Court of Common J 'leas and 
judge of Probate, and properly belonging to a later period) 
both appointed in 1771, and Samuel Brown, Jr., of Stock- 
bridge in 1774. 

The Berkshire Bar. 

It is stated in the History of Berkshire (1828), that John 
Unggins and Zadock Huggins were early lawyers in Shellield. 
They do not appear in the Berkshire courts, and I find no trace 
of their existence. Perhaps the Hampshire records would dis- 
close them as practicing lawyers residing in Sheffield prior to 
1761. In the absence of more definite information, I assume 
that Joseph Dwight and John Ashley were the only lawyers re- 
siding in the county before 17(51, and the sketches which follow 
are confined to those who were admitted to the Bar of this 

Mark Hopkins was the youngest child of Timothy Hopkins 
of Watcrbury, Ct., born September 18, 1739, and graduated at 
Yale, in 1758. He came to Great Barrington, perhaps because 
his elder brother, Dr. Samuel Hopkins, was then pastor of the 
church in that town. He was admitted to the Bar at the first 
session of the Court of Common Pleas, September, 1761. At 
the same time he was appointed by the court register of deeds, 
which office he held by successive elections, to the time of his 
death. It is worthy of mention that he was succeded in this of- 
fice in 1778 by his nephew, Moses Hopkins, Esq., who was re- 
elected from term to term for a period of sixty years. Mr. 
Hopkins was also county treasurer for a number of years, king's 
attorney, or prosecuting officer from an early date, and justice 
of the peace from 1766. After the Revolution commenced, 
and during the unsettled state of the government, already re- 
ferred to, he was appointed by the Council, (September 28 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 1 1 1 

1775,) judge of probate for this county, but lie did not assume 
the office. He was a decided Whig at the opening of the Rev- 
olution, n member of the County Convention at Stockhridge, 
July, 1774, and in 1770, joined the army as an officer in the 
brigade commanded by Gen. John Fellows. He died in the 
service, at White Plains, October 20, 1770. The house and of- 
fice which he built in Great Barrington are still standing, though 
each is removed from its original location. 

Of the personal appearance of Mr. Hopkins we have no in- 
formation. Coming early into the practice of his profession, 
and fitted by nature and education to make the most of his op- 
portunities, he won success at the Bar and was soon engaged in 
an extensive business. That he was a man of ability is shown 
by his meeting in forensic conflict, apparently on equal terms, 
JL the older members of the Hampshire Bar, and by the fact that 

before his death he had attained the rank of barrister. His in- 
» dustry is manifested in the first ten volumes of records in the 

registry of deeds, mostly in his own hand writing. There 
is a tradition that lie so impressed himself upon Judge Sedg- 
wick who was some years his junior, that the latter declared that 
he should have suffered an eclipse if Hopkins had lived. He 
married Electa, daughter of Rev. John Sargeant, the missionary, 
and left at his death, six children, the oldest but ten years of 
age. Their descendants are living in this count}'. 

Daniel Jones was born at Weston, Mass., July 25, 1740, was 
admitted to the Bar in Berkshire at the December term, 1701, 
and was the first lawyer who settled in Pittsfield. He was son 
of Col. Elisha Jones who had a large interest in the town: his 
elder brother, Elisha was a settler here, and he was nearly 
** related to the Williams and Jones families in Stockbridge. 

The family were mostly loyalists, and Elisha Jones, Jr., became 
a refugee, and his estate was confiscated. Another brother, Is- 
rael, was later, a highly respected citizen of Adams. Daniel 
Jones remained in Pittsfield but a short time, though the rec- 
I ords of the court seem to indicate that he had sufficient busi- 

ness inducements to prolong his stay. His name does not ap- 
pear in the records of April term, 1703, and in December of 

112 Berkshire Historical and Scientific, Society. 

that year, lie married Lydia, daughter of Major Elijah Williams 
of Deerfield, and removed to Hinsdale, X. II., where lie was a 
reputable lawyer and judge, dying in 1780, and having descen- 
dants who are widely scattered. 

John Pell was son of John Pell of Sheffield, who came, 
probably from AVestfield. He was admitted to the Par at De- 
cember term 1701, and practiced in Sheffield with apparent 
success if we may judge from the number of suits he brought. 
But it is to be feared that he fell early into graceless ways and 
brought discredit upon his honorable profession. At Septem- 
ber term 1702, he was before the Court of Sessions upon his 
confession that he traveled on the Lord's day from the county 
of Hampshire through the towns of Sandisfield, New Marlbo- 
rough and Tyringham to Sheffield, and he was thereupon fined 
ten shillings to be equally distributed to the said towns for their 
respective poor. lie disappears from the courts in 1705, and 
though we find him living in 1778, we get sight of him no 

John Ashley, Jr., son of Col. John Ashley, was born at 
Sheffield, September 20, 1730, graduated at Harvard in 1758, 
was admitted to the Par at the April term 1702, and appointed 
a justice of the peace in 1771. The only son of his father, des- 
tined to succeed to large interests in lands, and engaging early 
in mercantile pursuits, he followed his profession for a few 
years only, and then appears to have abandoned it forever. He 
continued in frequent" attendance on the Court of Sessions, of 
which he was a member, both before and after the Revolution. 
He represented his town in the Legislature, and in the militia 
rose to the rank of major-general, and was in command of the 
force which dispersed the rebels at Sheffield during the Shays 
insurrection, February 20, 1787. He died November 5, 1799. 
He was twice married and has left numerous descendants. 

Woodbridge Little was born in Colchester, Ct., in 1711, 
graduated at Yale in 1700, studied theology, and it is said, 
preached for a time in Lanesborough. He afterwards took up 
the study of the law, was admitted to the Par at the April term, 

Judicial History of Berkshire. 113 

1704, and probably settled in Pittsfield about that time. He 
built the house in the easterly part of the town, now owned by 
Mr. Frederick C. Peck, and occupied it until his death. lie 
was made a justice of the peace in 1770, and seems to have been 
actively engaged in his profession to the time when business in 
the courts ceased. 

He was a decided loyalist in the early part of the Revolu- 
tion, fled to New York with Major Stoddard, and was after- 
wards arrested and temporarily imprisoned, hut subsequently 
made his peace with the Whigs, and was a volunteer at the hat- 
tie of Bennington in 1777. He appears to have been sincere in 
his convictions, and to have embraced the royal cause conscien- 
tiously, but after J 777, he adhered faithfully to his new allegi- 
ance, and was so fully restored to the confidence of his fellow- 
citizens, that he was chosen one of the selectmen in 1781, and 
for several successive years. He did not resume the practice 
of the law upon the reorganization of the courts, but continued 
to take a lively interest in church and state affairs, allying him- 
self with the Federalists as was inevitable from his conservative 
tendencies. He died July 21, 181.3, leaving no children and 
devised the bulk of his estate to Williams College. 

Mr. Little was a large man, physically, with a grave and phil- 
osophical countenance and demeanor. He was shrewd and skil- 
ful in controversy, which he did not avoid, and tenacious of his 
opinions to the extent of obstinacy, as many anecdotes of him 

David Ingersoll, Jr., was born at Great Barrington, Sep- 
tember, 21, 17-12, graduated at Yale in 1761, was admitted to 
the Bar at the April term 1765, and continued to reside in 
Great Barrington. The house in which he lived, greatly 
changed from its original, is now standing on the east side of 
Main street in the south part of the village. Without any very 
positive means of information, we have the impression that he 
was a man of decided ability, ambitious and self-asserting. He 
early ingratiated himself with the ruling power in the state, and 
was appointed a justice of the peace in 1707. He was one of 
the "addressers" of Gen. Gage in 1774, and in September of 

114 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

that year when the court was closed at Great Barrington by a 

popular uprising, he fell into the hands of the mob, and was 
carried into Connecticut. He afterwards took refuge in Boston, 
went to England with other loyalists, and died there in 1796. 
He married in England and left two sons. There is a tradition 
that he became a member of the British Parliament. \\a was 
one of the refugees whose estates were confiscated by act of the 
Legislature in 1778. 

Thomas Williams, son of Dr. Thomas Williams of Deerfield, 

and grandson of Col. Ephraim Williams of Stockhridge, was 
born May 5, 1740. He studied law with Mark Hopkins, was 
admitted to the Bar in 1770, and was the first lawyer settled in 
Stockbrid^e. His house was on the hill a little east of the one 
built by his grandfather. His professional career was cut short 
by the Revolution in which he became early and actively en- 
gaged. He was a member of the County Convention at Stock- 
bridge before noticed, and of the First Provincial Congress in 
Massachusetts in 177*1 ; a Captain in Col. Paterson's regiment 
at Cambridge and in the detachment under Colonel Enos, 
which unsuccessfully endeavored to follow in the route of Ar- 
nold in his march through the wilderness, to Canada. The next 
year he was appointed lieutenant-colonel and died at Skenes- 
boro' on his way to Canada, July 10, 1776. He left three chil- 
dren among whom was the late Ephraim Williams of Lee. 

John Brown has so recently been the subject of a paper read 
before the society, that 1 only mention him in his professional 
relation. It docs not appear that he was ever admitted to the 
Bar in this county, but he appeared in court at the August 
term, 1773, and continued in practice in Pittsfield, until the 
courts were closed. In the attempted re-organization by the 
Legislature he was associated with John Ashley and others as 
one of the judges of the Court of Common Pleas in 1779, but 
never took his seat on the Bench. 

John Paterson was the first lawyer who settled in Lenox. 
He was not actively engaged in the practice of his profession in 
this county, but this sketch would be incomplete if his name 

Judicial History of Berks/tire. 1 1 5 

was omitted. lie was born in New Britain, Ct., in I744,grad- 
nated at Yale in 17(52, commenced practice in his native town 
and removed to Lenox in 1773. He was an active member of 
the First and Second Provincial Congress of Massachusetts; 
in command of the company of minute men who marched from 
Lenox to Boston the next day after the news of the battle of 
Lexington w r as received ; was presently appointed colonel ; was 
in the service during the entire war, and retired with the rank 
of brigadier-general, in the Continental service. lie built and 
occupied fur many years, the house in Lenox opposite the hotel, 
known as the Egleston place, removed to Lisle, N. Y., where he 
was a member of the Legislature, judge of the County Court and 
member of Congress. He died July 19, 1808. 

These names comprise the Berkshire Bar previous to 1780, 
with the exception of Theodore Sedgwick and David Noble, 
but the active professional life of these gentlemen extended far 
beyond the Revolution, and they properly belong to the later 

If any member of the society shall ever be induced to pursue 
the subject further, the next forty or fifty years will be found 
to exhibit names of prominence, and are so much nearer to 
our own time that the materials for interesting study will be 
found much more abundant. 

The Early Roads 


Settlements oe Berkshire, 
west of stockbridge and sheffield. 



In a study of tlie early roads to and through Berkshire coun- 
ty, one is necessarily led to an investigation of the first settle- 
ments at Plymouth and New York, and their gradual extension ; 
lirst of the Dutch up the valley of the Hudson, and second' of 
the English, from Plymouth or Massachusetts Pay, into the 
valley of the Connecticut as from these points the movements 
into Berkshire began. 

It is a broad and interesting subject, and requires more time 
than I have been able to give it, and I have limited my inves- 
tigations to the roads from the east, Roads which fifty or one 
hundred years ago were great thoroughfares, are to-day, in many 
places, almost, if not quite obliterated. The earliest were mere 
Indian trails through the dense forest, some of which the whites 
began to use, first as foot and saddle roads, and finally for carts 
and teams. One of the earliest of these thus used was the 
"Great Trail," " Connecticut or Bay Path," which passed 
through Grafton, Sutton and Oxford, in Worcester county, to 
Hartford and Springfield. Over it passed Rev. Joseph Hooker 
and his church, to Hartford, to found a state, and William Pyn- 
chon, the father of Springfield, nearly two hundred and fifty 
years ago, and from that time, for nearly one hundred and fifty 
years, it was the main thoroughfare between the people of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay and the Connecticut Valley. Hundreds of fam- 
ilies toiled over it, to new homes in the wilderness. Ministers 
and governors, capitalists and commissioners, government offi- 
cials and land speculators crossed and recrossed it. After this 
had been in use for one hundred years or more, a more northern 
route, passing through Worcester and the Brookfields, thence 
to the Connecticut river, was built. 

The first road into Berkshire county, of which I find any 

The Early Roads and Settlements of Berkshire. ^1114 

mention, is that from Westfield to Sheffield, or the "Albany 
Road," which is referred to in the report of a committee of the 
General Court of January 15, 1735, as follows: "The commit- 
tee are of opinion that there he four new townships opened 
upon the road between Westfield and Sheffield, and that they 
he contiguous to one another, and either joined to Sheffield or 
to the township lately granted to the proprietors of Snffield, 
which was Blandford, then called Glasgow. The townships, 
then called No. 1, 2, 3, and 4 are now : No. 1, Monterey and 
Tyringham; No. 2, New Marlboro; No. 3, Sandisfield and No. 
4, Becket. 

Again, in a petition of Samuel Winehell, February 8, 1743, 
then living west of Sheffield in which he says he "settled at c 
Twelve Mile Pond (Brewer's) on the road from Westfield to 
Ilousatonic, at that time there was no other person lived on 
that road. Built an house, brought to some land, entertained 
^ travelers with the best I had for near three years, with an in- 

tent to come to this court as soon as I was able, but before I 
could raise strength for ye purpose, there was a grant made by 
the General Court to another person and I was ousted of my 
new beginnings and knowing not what to betake myself to. I 
made another trial and set down here, about seven years ago 
and brought to fifteen acres?" 

This road mentioned in these two petitions, after passing 
through Blandford, enters Berkshire county at East Otis and for- 
merly made a detour to the north, of the East Otis hotel, thence 
in or near the present travel way, for a short distance; thence 
by a direct westerly course it crossed the Farmington river, a 
little over a mile south of Otis Center, thence continuing west- 
erly over a steep hill, through the northerly part of Sandisfield, 
between the two Spectacle Ponds, to a junction with the pres- 
ent road, from Cold Spring to West Otis, about one mile south- 
east of West Otis. Within the distance just described, of about 
six miles, and which is now almost entirely abandoned, there 
were in the time of the. Revolution four hotels, at one or more 
of which Burgoyne and portions of his troupe and captors, en- 
route to Boston, were fed and lodged. 

From West Otis the road followed in or near the present 

120 Jlerkshire Historical and /Scientific Society. 

traveled way, through Monterey, past Three Mile Hill, through 
the village of Great Barrington, across Green river, through 
North Egremont, and thence into New York state. With the 
exception of about a mile and a half of new road, in the west- 
erly part of Monterey, laid north of the old road, it can be read- 
ily traced as one drives over the present road. It is a road of 
great historic interest, from its unwritten history as an Indian 
trail, the probable route of Major Talcot in his pursuit and 
fight with the Indians, in Southern Berkshire, in 1670, to the 
opening of the Western railroad. Over it passed the founders 
of most of the towns of Southern Berkshire and the early com- 
merce between them and their neighbors east and west, Gen. 
Amherst and his army in 1759, the soldiers of the revolution, 
Burgoyne and his captured army on their way to Boston, the 
soldiers of 1812-15 and many a weary pilgrim long since passed 
away, has enjoyed the hospitality of its numerous taverns of 
by-gone days. That this road was only a path at the time of 
the grant of townships Nos. 1, 2, 3 and -A in 1735, would ap- 
pear by the following petitions and reports : — First, in the Gen- 
eral Court Kecords, book 16 page -117, January, 1736. On the 
petition of Thomas Ingersol, Representative of Westfield, for a 
grant to the proprietors of said town of a tract of six thousand 
acres between Westfield west boundary and Blandford, which 
was granted, "provided they do forthwith, or as soon as may be, 
open and constantly keep in repair hereafter, a good and safe 
cart-way over the premises in the road that leads from West- 
field to Ilusatonock, commonly called the Albany road." 

The next mention is in book 111:, page 148 of the Massachu- 
setts Archives, as follows: 

"To his excellency Jonathan Belcher, Esq., Captain General 
and Governor in Chief of His Majesties' Province of the Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, in New England, with the Honorable, His Maj- 
esties' Council and House of Bepresentatives in General Court 

"The petition of John Sergeant, Timothy Woodbridge, 
Moses Ingersol, David Ingersol, Moses King, Aaron Ashley, 
Samuel Dewey, Matthew Noble, Samuel Lee and Joseph Pix- 
ley humbly sheweth : 

The Early Roads and Settlements of Berkshire. 121 

"That whereas we whose names are above written did about 
seven months ago, undertake and with great fatigue and diffi- 
culty upon our own eost and charge, make a good and feasible 
sleigh road from New Glasgow, being according to common es- 
timation thirty-live miles, by which means a much more safe 
and convenient way of transportation is now opened from said 
Sheffield and the several settlements upon the Ilousatonic river 
to Westiield and the neighboring towns, and whereas, before it 
was very difficult for anybody, and for strangers almost impos- 
sible, in a snow of any considerable depth, without a track, 
which often happens in the winter season, to find the way, now 
by our having marked a sufficient number of trees on each hand, 
an entire stranger cannot easily miss it, and the people living 
in these parts are now able, and in the winter past actually did 
pass and repass to and from Westiield, with more than twenty 
sleighs, well laden, through a wilderness which before that was 
almost impassable on horseback, which being as we humbly con- 
ceive a thing of great and public benefit, not only to those of 
His Majesties' subjects that are already settled and are settleing 
upon the Housatonic river, but will also be of great service to 
those towns, which by your favor and encouragement are about 
to be settled upon and near to said road, for whereas, before 
there being no other way of transportation but on Horseback, 
which by reason of the badness and length of the way, was ex- 
ceedingly difficult, it was almost, if not utterly impossible, for 
his Majesties' subjects living in these parts of the Province, to 
supply themselves with foreign commodities, the never so nec- 
essary in life from any town within this section. 

Jan. 16, 1738, coin, appointed to examine and report, 

J. Quincy, Speaker. 

Report book 114, page 312, January 12, 1738, (reported) 
"That they be granted same rights in lands and on same condi- 
tions as others in lands of two new townships about to be laid 

out on Hoosac river. 


In 1712 or 3, a branch from this road commencing about one 
mile east of Brewer's pond, and passing north of Mt. Hunger, 
through old Tyringham Center (about a mile northwest of the 
present center of Monterey,) thence over the high mountains in 

122 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

the northwest part of that town, through Beartown, to Stock- 
bridge, was constructed. From a branch leaving it about a half 
mile northwest of the old center aforesaid, and passing Arte- 
mus Dowd's and William Miner's, to a junction with the old 
Albany road, about a half mile east of the line between Great 
Barrington and Monterey, was probably one of the early im- 
portant roads, made necessary by the location of Tyringham 
Center, one mile north of the Albany road. 

The next road through Berkshire was probably along the 
Deeriield valley, over the Iloosac mountain, past Fort Massa- 
chusetts, through Williamstown, &e. Fort Massachusetts being 
built about 17-44, a road or trail was probably in use then. In 
1752 book 46, page 280 of the Massachusetts Archives, is a 
grant of two hundred acres to Ephraim Williams, including the 
fort. He was required to keep an open way two rods wide, on 
the northerly side of the said fort, leading towards Albany. In 
174b' book 21, page 423, Samuel Rice petitions for a grant of 
two hundred acres, on condition that he build a new and better 
road over the Iloosac mountain. 

The first mention of a road through Pittstield, I iind in book 
121, page 286, as follows: — "In obedience to the note and or- 
der of the Honorable House of Representatives, I set out on 
Monday, the 23d day of March, to look out and make a horse 
road from Northampton towards Albany. Rode to Stockbridge, 
got two Indians to assist me, and traveled to a place called by 
the Indians Caknemick, which is about fifteen miles from Al- 
bany and lies upon the river that runs through Kinderhook. 
From thence we began to mark the road and came about live 
miles, along by said river, most of the way in intervale land. 
We crossed said river twice, had good fording at both places ; 
soon after we left the river we came to a large hill, but the as- 
cent was gradual and the hill not steep, so that I believe there 
may be a good cart road over it. About a mile east of the foot 
of the hill we came to the west line of the Pantoosuck township 
and had good traveling till we came to Pantoosuck river, which 
was in the northeast part of the tow r nship. The river, where 
we crossed it, was about four rods wide, the bottom good and I 
believe may be easily forded in most seasons of the year, al- 


The Early Roads and Settlements of Berkshire. 1 23 

though sometimes it may be difficult to ford it. From Pontoo- 
suck to the east branch of the Westfield river, which is about 
seventeen miles, the land is generally hilly and very thick Bet 
with timber, so that I believe there cannot be a good, pleasant, 
easy road there, but I believe there may, with a little cost, be 
as good a road, if not better, than that between Westfield and 
Sheffield. Westfield river we crossed in five branches. The 
westermost branch is but about a rod wide and the water shal- 
low ; the next east of it much the largest of all the branches, 
but the banks and bottom are good, so that I believe it may be 
used almost any time. I myself, and the Indians that were 
with me, waded it the first day of April, and it was not then 
three feet deep, the next branch to it is not half so big and the 
bottom very good. The eastermost branch, save one, is where 
we crossed it, about twenty feet wide and the bottom is rocky, 
so that in high water it will be bad crossing, but there is a very 
\ good place to make a bridge and it may be done with a very 

, little charge. The eastermost branch is about two rods wide 
and the bottom is very good. From Westfield river to North- 
ampton, the road is feasible and few hills. The road we have 
marked crosses the river that runs to Northampton five times, 
but the river is so small that it may be forded at any time. 
The distance from Northampton to Albany, to go in the road 
we have marked, is I suppose, about sixty-three miles and I be- 
lieve there is no part of the way but a team might draw two- 
thirds of a load, if the way was cleared* 

Elisha IIawley. 
Northampton, April 6, 1752. 
To the Honorable House of Representatives setting at Cam- 

" In the House of Representatives, June 13, 1753, Read and 
ordered that the sum of £60 be granted and paid out of the 
public treasury, to Oliver Partridge, Esq., to be improved for 
the clearing a road, &c, for the purpose within mentioned, as 
soon as may be, and in the cheapest manner, to be accountable 
to this court for his disbursements in this affair." 

Between this time and the incorporation of the county in 
1761, a county road was laid out from Great Barrington to 

124 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Pittsfiekl, which is essentially the present direct road from 
Great Barrington over the easterly base of Monument moun- 
tain to Stockbridge, thence through Lenox center and South 
street. Many town, but probably few other county roads, were 
laid out previous to the incorporation. ' 

One of the earliest county roads laid out after the incorpora- 
tion was one from New Boston in Sandisfield, through Sandis- 
h'eld and New Marlborough centers south of Lake Buel to a 
junction with the Albany road at Three Mile hill. 

Towards the close of the last century and the first of the 
present many turnpikes were laid out mostly over the routes of 
existing roads. 

The first of these in Berkshire county was the second Massa- 
chusetts turnpike incorporated March 8, 1797, which extended 
from the west line of the town of Charlemont over the Hoosac 
mountain to Adams. The act says, "Whereas, the road leading 
from Charlemont in the county of Hampshire across Hoosac ( 

mountain to Adams in the county of Berkshire is circuitous, 
rocky and mountainous, and there is much traveling over the 
same, and the expense of straightening, making and repairing a 
road through those towns, so as that the same may be safe and 
convenient for travellers with horses and carriages would be 
much greater than ought to be required of the proprietors and 
inhabitants on the said road under their present circumstances, 

The 3d Massachusetts turnpike incorporated March 9, 1797, 
extended from Pittsfield through Dal ton, Hinsdale and Peru 
to Northampton. 

The 8th Massachusetts Turnpike incorporated February 24, 
1800, extended from the south line of Pittsfield through Wash- 
ington and Becket to Pussell. 

The 10th Massachusetts turnpike incorporated June 16, 1800, 
extended from the Connecticut line up the Farmington valley 
through Otis Center, West Becket, East Lee, Lenox Furnace to 
the Lenox court house, thence northwesterly over the mountain 
through the northerly part of Richmond to Hancock west line. 

The 11th Massachusetts turnpike incorporated June 19, 1801, 
extended from the Connecticut line, in the easterly part of 

The Early Roach and Settlements of Berkshire, 125 

Granville through Blandford to a junction with the 8th, north 
of Becket meeting-house. 

The 12th Massachusetts incorporated June 10, 1801, extended 

from the north end of the turnpike road from East Sheffield to 
Hartford, northwesterly through Sheffield, Sheffield Plain and 
South Egremont to the eastern end of the Hudson turnpike at 
the New York line. 

The 1.3th Massachusetts incorporated June 19, 1801, extended 
from the Connecticut line in Granville through East Otis to the 
south line of Becket. 

The 15th Massachusetts incorporated February 12, 1803, ex- 
tended from the northern terminus of the turnpike from New 
Haven to the Massachusetts line near Sandy Brook in Saudis-' 
held northwesterly through New Marlhorough center and llarts- 
ville to a junction with the old Albany road near the west line 
Of Monterey. 

The 16th Massachusetts incorporated February 14, 1803, ex- 
tended from Tolland center through New Boston, Sandisiield 
and New Marlborough centers to a junction with the Hartford 
and Hudson near Sheffield meeting-house. 

The Sheffield and Tyringham incorporated June 23, 1804, 
extended from East Sheffield through Mill Biver and Tlarts- 
ville to Coreshire so called in Monterey. 

The Tyringham and Lee incorporated March 5, 1805, was a 
continuation of the latter, northerly through Beartown to with- 
in about one mile of South Lee, thence on the southerly and 
easterly side of the Housatonic river to Lee Forge bridge. 

The Williamsburg and Windsor incorporated March 1G, 
1805, went through Williamsburg, Goshen and. Cuminington in 
Hampden county, northwesterly through Windsor about one 
mile northeasterly of "Windsor Hill to Cheshire. 

The Alford and Egremont incorporated March 13, 1806, ex- 
tended from the New York line in the Green Biver valley 
southerly through Alford and the northeast part of Egremont 
near Green River and Egremont Plain to South Egremont. 

The Sheffield and Great Harrington incorporated February 
28, 1807, extended from the Connecticut line at East Sheffield 
northwesterly on the Housatonic river to Brookside, thence 

120 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

crossing the river and through the villages of Great Barrington, 
Van Densenville and Williamsville and to West Stockbridge. 

The llousatonic River incorporated March 7, 1806, extended 
from the northwest corner of West Stockbridge southeasterly 
to the junction of the roads on Stockbridge Plain, thence to Lee 
Forge and a junction with the 10th Massachusetts from Hart- 
ford to Lenox. 

The Stockbridge incorporated February 28, 1807, extended 
from the llousatonic lliver turnpike through Stockbridge to the 
15th .Massachusetts. 

The Bethlehem and Tyringham incorporated June 19, 1807, 
extended from the 10th Massachusetts at Otis Center, through 
West Otis and Monterey towards Great Barrington, partially on 
the route of the Old Westfield or Albany road. 

The Alford and West Stockbridge incorporated June 20, 
1807$ extended from the New York line near the house of Tru- 
man Tuttle in Hillsdale on said line through West Stockbridge 
to an intersection with the llousatonic turnpike, near the bury- 
ing ground in Stockbridge village. 

- The Dalton and Middlefield incorporated June 20, 1S07, ex- 
tended from a point on the turnpike from Pittsh'eld to Wash- 
ington, near the east line of Pittsiield, through the towns of 
Hinsdale, Dalton and Washington to an intersection with the 
Chester and Hinsdale in Middlefield. 

The Tyringham and Sandish'eld incorporated February 12, 
1811, extended from the llousatonic River turnpike in Lee 
through Tyringham and the west part of Otis over Tom Hill 
so called to Montville. 

The Great Barrington and Alford incorporated June 25, 
1811, extended from the base of Monument mountain, near the 
Pelton place, through Van Densenville, Egremont and Alford 
to the New York line. 

The Pontoosuc incorporated February 15, 1826, with Jona- 
than Allen, Lemuel Pomeroy, Joseph Sheaver, Joseph Merrick, 
Thomas Gold, James Fowler, Henry Stearns, Enos Foot as cor- 
porators, extended from the southeast part of Pittsiield through 
the towns of Hinsdale, Washington, Middlefield and Chester. 

The Early Roads and Settlements of Berkshire. 127 

This interfering with the location of the Western railroad, in 
1838 was sold out to that corporation. 

The Iloosae incorporated February 23, 1827, like the 2d 
Massachusetts, extended over the Iloosae mountain. 

This completes the list of the turnpikes of Berkshire county. 
Many of them became for a number of years prominent stage 
and mail routes. 

In 1827 an act was passed allowing them to surrender their 
charters whenever they could get them accepted by the county 
or town. They gradually became unprofitable and the last tolls 
in Berkshire county were probably collected on the 10th and 
12th Massachusetts between the years 1840 and 1845. 


The earliest settlements in Berkshire county were doubtless 
upon the triangular tract of land west of the original west 
boundary of Sheffield and Stockbridge, since incorporated into 
the towns of Egremont, Alford and Mount Washington ; and 
the Under Mountain region (so called) of the western part of 
Sheffield early annexed to that town. 

These early settlements were propably owing to the coloniz- 
ing efforts of Livingston and Van Rensselaer to extend their 
possessions to the Ifousatonic valley, and its proximity to the 
Hudson river and the old road from Westtield to Albany. 

The earliest appeals to the protection of the Massachusetts 
government and for the confirmation of their lands by the oc- 
cupants appears to begin about 1751, when William Bull of 
- Sheffield and others petition as follows : 

Mass. Archives, Vol. 6, p. 32. " To his Hon'r Spencer Phips, 
^ Esq., Lieut. Governor and Commander in chief in and over His 

Majesty's Council of the hon'ble House of Representatives in 
General Court assembled. 

"The petition of William Bull in behalf of himself and forty- 
four other Persons whose names are hereto annexed humbly 
sheweth — 

" There is a tract of Land lying west of Sheffield within this 
Province which Robert Livingston, Jun'r, Esq., is Endeavoring 
to Engross and annex to his manor and many families are al- 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

ready Settled thereon, by his Encouragement about Twenty of 
the Persons in the annexed List are actually Settled there; but 
very uneasy at present, heavy Rents they arc obliged to pay to 
said Livingston and never like to have the Gospel among them 
so long as they are Tenants to him and being sensible that the 
Lands are Eastward of the utmost extent of his Patent and 
within the Province of the Massachusetts Pay are very desirous 
of the proteetion of said Government to Do duties or receive 
Privileges there; the said Lands are capable of receiving about 
forty-five inhabitants and in time may make a small parish. At 
the instance of the said Persons settled on said Land your Peti- 
tioner and others in the annexed List have been induced to seek 
to this government to Assert their Eight to said Lands; and if 
your Hon'r will be pleased to make a grant of it to the said 
Persons, they are willing to do such duties as you shall En joyn 
them to perform. The bounds of the Land are as follows. To 
begin at the Top of the first great mountain west of Sheffield in 
Line between this Province and Connecticut from thence run- 
ning west in said Line five mile and three-quarters to the East 
Line of eaid manor, thence Northerly as the Line of said Mau'r 
Runs about Eight mile to the South End of an Hill called Vir- 
dribick Berg, Thence East four mile and an half, thence South- 
erly to the h'rst Bounds. Your Petitioner would represent the 
reason for extending North and South so far is because the 
most of the Land is Extremely mountainous and not habitable; 
and that part of it capable of Settlement runs Northerly and 
Southerly within the mountains as will appear by the Plan 
. herewith presented, and as in Duty Bound shall ever pray. 

Wm. Bull. 


Samuel Bellows, 
Christopher B razee, 
Samuel Brown, 
.Jeremiah Butler, 
N Jouathau Darby, 
Cornelius Decker, 
Jaeob Deeker, 
Jared Deeker, 
John Deeker, 

Michael llallenbeek, jr.. 
Robert llallenbeek, 
William llallenbeek, 
William llallenbeek, jr., 
Zepheniah Harvey, 
Josiah Loomis, 
Thomas Loomis, 
Joseph Oreutt, 
David Owen, 

Uriah Sehireuerhooru, 
Henry Smith, 
Jonah Smith, 
Nieholaus Spoor, 
Richard Spoor, 
Gideon Towsley, 
Samuel Towsley, 
Elias Tucker, 
William Turner, 

The Early Honda and Settlements of Berkshire, 1 29 

Phillip Fraa, Andrew Race, James Van Dusen, 

John Guy. John Race, William Webl), 

John Gay, jr., George Robinson, Addam Weeber, 

John Hallenbeeck, Barnard Schirenerhoorn, Wynant Weeber. 

John Hallenbeeck, jr., Jacob Schirenerhoorn, 

Matthew Hallenbeeck, John Schirenerhoorn, 

This is accompanied with a map of the land petitioned for, 
which includes the present town of Mount Washington and the 
west half of the Indian Reservation and extended west a little 
beyond the present state line to the eastern boundary of Living- 
ston's grant, or 20 miles from the Hudson river. 

In answer to this petition are the following reports from two 
state committees : 

Mass. Archives, Vol. 116, p. 36, 1751. "Pursuant to the 
order of the llonrble House of Representatives of Get. 11, 1751, 
I have viewed the Lands mentioned in the Petition of William 
Pull and Others and conferred with the inhabitants Living on 
said Lands, who are Chiefly Dutchmen, who inform me that 
they were encouraged to Settle said Land many years since by 
Mr. Livingston to whom they have paid great rents from year 
to year, but he never gave a lease to any of them, but refused 
to do it. They further inform me that upon examination they 
rind that they are not settled within said Livingston's patent, 
thereupon divers of them the Last year have refused to pay him 
any rent and that he declares he will send them all to Goal very 
soon if they do not pay their rents. They appear very solici- 
tous to be taken under the protection of this government, as to 
the quality of the Lands Some of them appear very good, they 
lie on a small river or brook which heads in Taucaunuck moun- 
tain. Runs northerly and southerly some miles, the most valu- 
able lands are in possession of about twenty families, more than 
half of the lands mentioned in said petition are upon the Great 
Tauconnuck mountain which is very high and impassible many 
miles together, the other lands except what are under improve- 
ment as above said are chiefly white oak, rock oak Hills, Some 
of them pretty good other of them mean and poor. 

Ov. Paktkidge. 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society, 

And Vol. 4(5, p. 307, the following True state of ye lauds 
contained within ye limits of Win. Ihills petition, 

Joseph D WIGHT, j 
Col. Bradford, v Com. 
Gait. Livermore. J 
"N. B. Those marked thus * arc petitioners." 

No. No. acres 

Houses, fenced. 

No. acres 

Years Years cultl- Or- No. bbls. 
ii pos- vated by any chard. Syder. 

Andrew Brasee, 1 70 50 

Cornels Brasee, 1 50 30 

"Christopher Brasee, 1 60 20 

Henry Brasee, 1 00 20 

Francis Brasee, 1 20 15 

*Jerem'h Butler, 5 1 

Jonathan Darby, 1 8 7 

-Jacob Decker, 2d. 1 1 1 

Js. Eliot, 1 2 1 

Js. Gillet, 15 7 

Simon Doby, Lives with Gillet. 

Philip Fraa, 1 GO GO 

*Jolm Hallenbeeck, 1 70 GO 
*Wm. Hallenbeeck, jr., Son to John. 

*Mathew Hallenbeeck, 1 5 1 

*Michael Hallenbeeck, 1 70 GO 

















Sou to Josiah 1st, 3 acres under improvement. 



70 GO 

80 15 8 

posesses with Eph. 

GO 40 1G 

Sou to Andrew. 
1 1 1 15 

1 80 1G 10 

2 Dwelling houses pulled down. 

Trees girdled. 
1 young. 

*Jno., jr., and Robt. Hallenbeck, Sons to Michael. 

*\Vm. Hallenbeck, 1 20 15 2 2 

*Zcph Harvey, 1 5 4 2 2 

Ambrose Hunt, 1 G 3 1 1 

Jacob Loomis. 1 3 cleared. 

*Josiah Loomis, 1 30 20 !) 

*Josiah Loomis, jr. 

Lonissy Newell, 

*Jo Orcutt. 

"Andrew Race. 1 

Andrew Race, 2d. 1 

Cornel Race, 1 

Eph Race, 1 

"John Race, 

Win. Race, 

Win. Race, jr., 

*George Robinson, 

Adam Shaver, 1 30 15 

(Holds under David Ingersol.) 

*Henry Smith, 10 3 1 

"Jonas Smith, 1 70 50 27 

Abrah'm Spoor, 1 40 30 18 

"Richard Spoor, 1 40 30 18 

*Nocolaus Spoor, Sou to Richard. 

*James Van Dusen. 1 20 18 4 

Robert Van Dusen. 2 1 1 

"Wm. Weeb, G 5 1 

Kylcon Wenard, 1111 

March 24, 1752, Ol'r Partridge lays out a large farm in Lit. 

Washington which encompassed the dwellings of Josiah Loomis 

and Michael Hallenbeck by order of the General Court. 










The Marly Roads and Settlement* of Berkshire. 131 

At this time active steps were taken by the state in accord- 
ance with the petition of the settlers to sell these unincorporated 
lands. A committee in June, 1753, report as follows, upon 
lands west of the original west line of the two Ifousatonic town- 
ships, not including Mount Washington, sold and unsold. 


Lands between Lower Sheff'd and ye foot of Tauconnock, 9,760 

Do. " Upper Sheff'd and ye foot of as sd, 4,550 



Viz Majr Williams, 
Widow Owen, 
Thos. Ingersole, Esqr., 
Majr Williams, 
Elias Vauscbaack, 
Chandler & Kellogg, 
Saml Wincbell, 
Jabez O instead, 
Col. Timo Dwigbt, 
Capt. Spurr, 
Col. John Alden, 
R. Treat & Sons, 

Lands possessed within the above tract by intruders, 

Unoccupied, 9,492 

Following which June 19, 1753, Jacob Wendell, Esq., from 
the committee appointed to consider the committee's report re- 
specting* the Western lands gave the following report, viz: 

"The committee appointed to take under consideration the 
report of a committee sent by this court to view the Province 
Lands west of Sheffield, &c, and also what it may be proper to 
do respecting the western boundary of this Province, &c, beg 
leave to report, 

" That considerable improvements have been made upon the 
Province Lands lying west of Sheffield and Stockbridge with- 
out any grant or liberty from this Government. The commit- 
tee therefore are of opinion that a committee be appointed by 
this Court to repair to said lands with full power to dispose of 
the same to the person or persons who have made or caused 
such improvements, in such quantities as they shall judge rea- 
sonable, for such sums of money as the land may be judged to 


















132 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

be worth, without having respect to the improvements made 
upon them, and take bonds with sufficient sureties for the pay- 
ment of the monies into the Province Treasury within two 
years: and in ease any of the said persons refuse to purchase 
the same or give bond as aforesaid : that then the committee be . 
impowered to dispose of the same to such other persons as shall 
appear to purchase said lands; who are also impowered in be- 
half of the Government to deliver possession of the hinds to the 
persons respectively that shall appear to purchase the same ; 
and said committee to be further impowered to dispose of the 
Province Lands lying west of said township, which are not 
taken up by any person to such as shall appear to purchase the 
same, they giving bond to said committee as aforesaid for the 
sums they shall value the lands at, and that all the lands lying 
west of Sheffield be annexed to said town to do duties and re- 
ceive privileges there ; and those lands lying west to said Town 
of Stockbridge to do duties and receive privileges there, all 
which is humbly submitted, 

Jacob Wendell, per order. 

"In the House of Representatives ; Read and voted unani- 
mously that this report be accepted ; and that a committee be 
appointed by this court for the purpose herein mentioned.' 1 

The next year the two following petitions were presented to 
the General Court. 

These names with those reported by the committees must in- 
clude about all the original settlers within those limits at the 

Some of them were a little west of the present state line and 
a few residents of Sheffield and Stockbridge which towns then 
included Great Barrington. 


Vol. 40, p. 375 Dec. 3, 1754. We the subscribers have at 
different times entered and made improvements on sundry par- 
cels of land within this province, lying west of Sheffield and 
Stockbridge and about 14 or 15 miles east of Hudson's river, 
that since the late barbarous murder and ravages committed by 
the indians at Stockbridge and thereabouts, your petitioners have 
apprehended themselves in great danger from said indians two 

The Early Roads and Settlements of Berkshire. 


having been fired at among ns. Under these discouragements 

several who dwelt here have left their possessions, and more if 
not all the rest may depart if not put into some state more de- 
fensible and safe. Therefore your petitioners humbly pray that 
some reasonable part of the land may be granted to ns in sever- 
alty where we respectively possess and as we are there unto as 
conveniently may be, or that we may be in such other way Re- 
lieved as to your wisdom shall seem best, and that his excellency 
would please to appoint some proper persons to lead and com- 
mand us as military officers and as we may have liberty to build 
such fortresses or block houses as may be necessary to preserve 
and secure us from the and ravages of 

our ennemies, which places of defence we will build and man at 
our own charge, During this our danger or for such time as 
your excellency shall order. 

Anthony Austin, 
Daniel Bailey, 
David Baldwin, 
Ebenezer Baldwin, 
Mark X Barton, 
Garrot Birghardt, 
Jacob Burgot, 
William Beckaus, 
Japhcth Bush, 
Daniel Boardman, 
Joshua Boardman, 
David Bolton, 
Elijah Brown, 
Isaac Brown, 
Aud'w Brasee, 
Ilendrick Brasee, 
Jacob X Garner, 
Jacob X Gardner, jr. 
Lodowick X Garner, 
Phillip Gase, 
William Goit, 

Edward X Daley, 
Daniel Dewey, 
Stephen Dewey, 

Daniel X Hinds, 
Enoch Hinds, 
John Holmes, jr., 
Timo. Hopkins, 
Anthony Hoskius, 
Micah Hoskins, 
David Jewell, , 
George King, 
Daniel Kelcy, 
Stephen Kelcy, 
Stephen Kelcy, jr., 
Daniel Lawrence, jr., 
Lee, jr , 

Aaron Loomis, 
James Loomis, 
Moses Loomis, 

James Mc- , 

George Messenger, 

Abraham Miller, 
Warham Miller, 

Jonathan Nash, 
Phinehas Nash, 
Joseph Noble, 
Luke Noble, 

Reuben Sheldon, 
Saml Shears, 
Eben Smith, 1st, 
Phineas Smith, 
Frenderick Spoor, 

Jacob Spoor, 
John Spoor, 
Nicholaus Spoor, 
Thomas Stephens, 
Uriah Stephens, 
Eleaz Stockwell, 
Eleaz Stockwell, jr., 
Eliphalet Thorp, 
P. Thorp, 
Robert Thorp, 
Benjamin Tremain, 
John Tullar, 
Isaac Vandusen, 
Isaac Van Dusen, 

Matteuis X Vangilder, 
Nicholaus Vangilder, 
Beniah Warner, 
Ebenezer Warner, 
Robert Warner, 
Oliver Watson, 

Eustice Drake, 
Note. — The dashes represent illegible names in the order given 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific, Society. 

Wm, Drake, 
Jonathan Dunham, 
Ezra Fellows, 
John Follows, 
John Fellows, jr., 
John Fen ton, 
Joseph Flem — , 
Benj. Franklin, 
Daniel Goins, 
Jarad Goodrich, 
John Ilallenbeeck, 
John ilallenbeeck, jr. 
Michael Ilallenbeeck, 
Ebenezer Hamlin, 
John Hamlin, 

Abel Hinds, 

Simon Noble, 
Moses Olds, 
Jcdh. Omstead, 
Jabez Omstead, 
Jer. Omstead, 
Moses Omstead, 
John Owen, 
Joseph X Owen, 
Nathaniel Owen, 
Benony X Pal merles, 
Jonathan Pet tit, 
John Pixley, 
Moses Pixley, 
William Race, 
John Row, 
James Root, 
Benjamin Sheldon, 

Robert Watson, 
William Webb, 
Dennis X Welch, 
Enos Westover, 
Jonah Westover, 
Nathl. Westover, 
Nathl. Westover, jr., 

Simon Willard, 
David Winchell, 
Mary Willey ) 

and Ualf 

Ju Mcllan. ) rights. 
Jonathan Younglove, 
Samuel Younglove. 

Iii Vol. 4C>, page 380 is the following additional list of peti- 

James Bolton, 
Hendrick breese, Chittenden, 
Joseph Chittenden, jr., 
Gideon X Chub, 
Moses Church. 
Elighcr Cleavennard, 
Samuel Colvcr, 
Samuel Dewey, 
Samuel Dewey, jr., 
Thomas Diev, jr., 
Simein Doolcy, 
Abijah Durke, 
Jonah fortin, 
Joseph Gillet, 
Matthew X Goos, 
Benjamin Grigs, 
Sam Hallenl)eak, 
Wm. Hallenbeak, son of 

Daniel Hopkins, 
Nehemiah Hopkins, 
Joseph Ilix, 
Joseph X H ix, jr., 
Samll Hunt, 
Japhet Hunt, 

Richard Jacob, 
Robert Joyner, 
William Joyner, 
Nathl Kellogg, 
Timothy Kellogg, 
William Kellogg, 
Philip Kiteley, 
Samuel Lee, 
Andrew Lovejoy, 
Benja Lovejoy, 
Nathan Lovejoy, 
William Man, 
Alex'd Mc Arthur, 
John McArthur, 
John McLean, 
Nehemiah Messenger, 
Sand Messenger, 
Asa Noble, 
Elisha Noble, 
Obadiah Noble, 
Robard Noble, 
Ebenezer Payne, 
Josiah Phelps, jr., 

Joseph X poncyon, 

Martin Powell, 

Joseph Powell, 
Truman Powell, 
Truman Powell, jr., 
William Powell, 
William Roberts, 
James Sexton, 
William Shelden, 
Silvanus Stephens, 

Elisha Stoddard, 
Isaac Spoor, 

John Spoor, son of Isaac, 
Cornelius Spoor, 
John Spoor, son of Cornl 
Zachariah Vargupsn, 
Jacob X Vangilder, 
William Virgen, 
David X Welch, 
Jonll X Welch, 
Josiah X Welch, 
Sam! X Welch, 
Jonathan Willard, 
Joseph Wilson, 
Samuel Winchell, 
Samuel Winchell, jr., 
Ilezekiah Winchell, 
Thomas Whitney. 

The Earl if Roach and Settlements of Berkshire. 135 

Early in 175(), the Shite committee laid out and sold three 
townships west of the present state line, extending from Boston 
Corner nearly as far north as Richmond, and we^t to within 1:2 
miles of the Hudson river, with other smaller tracts to individ- 
uals in Alford, Egremont and the Under Mountain region west 
of Sheffield. The same and the following year these purchasers 
from the state received deeds from the Stockbridge Indians, 
elected proprietors, clerks, and took the preliminary steps to- 
wards an organized town government. 

What has hecome of the proprietors' records of the three 
townships within the present limits of New York is a matter 
for antiquarian research. Those of Egremont have })aon pre- 
served and Mount Washington and Alford lost. 

Book of Berkshire. 


istorical and Scientific Society, 






The Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society is glad to present to the 
public for the second time some of the results of its past and present work 
in the pamphlet now in the hands of the reader. Our first number con- 
tained, on the scientific side, "Berkshire Geology," by Professor Dana of 
Yale College ; and on the historical side, " The Western Boundary of Mas- 
sachusetts" by Mr F. L. Pope, " Judicial History of Berkshire" by Mr. II. 
W. Taft, and " Early Roads and Settlements of Berkshire" by Mr. II. F. 
Keith, — the last three citizens of the county and members of the Society. 
We will let the contents of the present number speak for themselves, the 
scientific and historical matter being in about the same proportions as be- 
fore, confident in general that these will not fall below those in interest and 
accuracy and thoroughness. We have now on hand about a dozen papers 
of very considerable merit, all of them having been read at the quarterly 
meetings of the Society, which we hope to present intermixed with papers 
of more recent origin and of a somewhat different character, in future num- 
bers of our printed Transactions, all of them similar in form and amount to 
these two first ones, suitable in all respects for binding up into permanent 

For several years past we had had a Field Meeting in summer on some 
spot of historical significance within the County ; and these, though less 
formal, have been perhaps of more general interest than the other quarterly 
meetings of the year. It is proposed to mark the present year as the cen- 
tennial of the going into operation of our national constitution of Govern- 
ment, by a Field Meeting in August on " Constitution Hill" in Lanesboro' ; 
and it is believed that some novel and important facts will then be brought 
out in relation to the agency of Berkshire men in that great consummation. 

A. L. P. 

Williams College, March 4. 1889. 

The Early 
Botany of Berkshire 

I5y Rbv. A. I!. Whim-lb of Pittsfiekl. 


Prof. Dana tells us in his geology, that life has done much 
geological work by contributing materials for making rocks. 
Nearly all the limestones of the globe, all the coal, some silic- 
ious beds and parts of other rocks, are relics of living species. 
As most of Berkshire rests on limestone, animal life and veget- 
able must have pre-existed. 

Life commenced in murine weeds, aud, creeping on to the 
land, expanded into palms, oaks and oranges. As tbe lime- 
stones of this county are mostly metamorphic, in becoming 
crystalline, bj r heat, they lost all traces of their fossils, and 
hence we cannot tell the early marine life. 

The Green Mountain range was the first stable land of North 
America, emerging from the deep, then shallow seas, by gentle 
movements during the Silurian age ; the depth of the lime- 
stone proving its long submarine existence. This emergence 
was the primal condition of terrestrial life. As the Devonian 
era, in which plant and insect life was first discovered, does not 
overlie Berkshire, we are left to conjecture what vegetation 
first appeared in the salt marshes, as they became more and 
• more shallow by the gradual uprising of their limestone bed. 

Whatever may have been the vegetable life during succeed- 
ing ages, the Glacial epoch, of the Post Tertiary Period, was 
completely erased. The vast amount of drift of that period 
contains no fossils; and the scratches on ledges and mountain 
I summits show an erasive power of rock imbedded glaciers, far 

more than needed to sweep every vestage of vegetable life 
into geological oblivion. 

This side, then, of the Post Tertiary Period must we begin 
our Botanical research for this county. To bared rocks and 
beds of gravel we first direct our attention ; a careful observa- 
tion of the rocks reveals a green, or brown leaf-like spot which, 
on closer examination, appears to be a lichen ; a thallogenous 


L 8 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

plant which seems to attach itself to rocks for the purpose of 
disintegrating them; and, by so doing, producing a finer soil in 
which other and higher species may take root. As this finer 
soil, by gravity and rainfall, finds its way into the valleys, the 
thallogens of the rocks disappear, other vegetable life spring.-, 
up, on which another species of thallogenons parasites finds 
nourishment, especially on dead and decaying parts. These 
thallogens seem to have a double mission— to produce and to 
destroy life, and they work under two conditions ; one, of a 
short life, and the other of innumerable multiplication ; as some 
nmshroons arc known to produce 60, 0(H) cells in a minute. The 
poet Browning was a good botanist when he wrote 

" mere decay 
Produces richer life, and day by day 
New pollen on the lily-petal grows, 
And still more Libyrithine buds the rose." 

Tb these humble, iiowerless plants, working with tireless en- 
ergy age after age, must we give the credit for that dee}) and 
abundant soil out of which has grown that variety of forest 
trees, whose many colored leaves give our hillsides their au- 
tumnal glory. 

Possibly in other parts of the world vegetation had an ear- 
lier start by many centuries, loading the far-flying winds with 
spores and seeds, some of which fell here where the lichens had 
made ready a bed whence sprung trees and flowers whose de- 
scendants find honored names in the Botanies of the nineteenth 

This knowledge of plant names, like .the plant life itself, has 
been of slow growth ; and though the rocks themselves became 
herbariums long before Adam feasted on unforbidden or for- 
bidden fruit, they long remained a sealed book. Adam, though 
gifted with wisdom to give names to animals according to their 
characters, and plants, no doubt, yet gave us no names of the 
trees that flourished in Paradise, save the fig tree only, and 
thorns and thistles that grew outside. Later by 1,500 years we 
read of gopherwood, a pitch-producing tree, either the cypress, 
or the pine. The first classification was given to Adam; those 
bearing fruit for man, and herbs for animals, accompanied with 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. i) 

the divine statement that the Lord made " every plant of the 
Held before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field be- 
fore it grew." — Gen. 2:5. 

So general are the names of plants in the Bible that only 
about seventy have been ascertained. The value of the present 
nomenclature lies largely in specific terms. 

it may not be unprofitable to leave our native plants a few 
thousand years in which to perfect themselves, while we give 
our attention to the growth of the science which to-day deals 
with every element of vegetable life. 

Man, at first, used plants as food for himself and animals. 
Instinct and experience called them into use as medicines, and 
long before the Hebrew Scriptures spoke of plants the Egypt- 
ians had discovered and used aromatic plants for embalming, 
and wrote hooks attributing their discovery to Throth,or Hermes 
Trismegistus. Throth was regarded as the source of all knowl- 
edge and inventions, like the Greek Hermes or Mercury; the 
embodied Logos, the thrice greatest (tris megistus) from whom 
Pythagoras and Plato derived their ideas. By the Greeks the 
invention of botany and medicine was attributed to Chiron a 
pupil of Apollo. Esculapins, Homer's " blameless physician," 
whose sous were on the medical staff of the Greek army, knew 
and u^ad medicine plants of which Hipocrates "the father of 
medicine," -too years P. C, described 4-00 kinds. Esculapins 
is honored in our botanies in the order Asclej.)iads or milk- 

Theophrastus, a pupil of Plato, among many books, wrote 
two on botany, " The history of plants," and '/The causes of 
plants." These books are still extant, and among the earliest 
having any scientific precision. He classified by size and con- 
sistency and 250 P>. 0. described some 400 species. 100 P>. C. 
Dioscorides, a botanist and medical writer, made a collection of 
plants in Italy, Gaul, Greece and Asia Minor, and described 
GOO species, not more than one-fourth of which can now be as- 
certained. Classification, in his day, was in " Aromatics, gum- 
bearing, eatables and cornherbs." Pliny, the Elder, wrote 40 
books on botany, and on medical plants and on the general 

10 Berkshire Historical mid Scientific Society. 

science. Of the 1000 plants described by him, most arc now 

For more than 600 years little progress was made, save as 
the Arabs added about 1200 names to the list collected before 
the 9th century, and till the 15th century the Arabs alone en- 
riched the science. But, when in 1453 Constantinople came 
under the rule of the Turks by Mahomet II, the long hidden 
Greek literary treasures were dispersed, first over Italy, and 
then throughout Europe, and a host of translators, copyists ami 
commentators made public what had been done, yet added but 
little to the list of 1400 species then known, an average of only 
one pel- year since the beginning of the Christian era. 

This ancient Greek literature, so long buried like seeds in 
mummy pits, in its repossession, started the revival of learning 
called the Renaissance ; but in the department of botanical 
science found comparatively little to comment upon, yet an 
ample field in which to reap original harvests. A century or 
two earlier perhaps, modern botanical gardens took their place 
in history. The invention of printing in 1430, with the; power 
to mujtiply wood cuts, greatly aided the cause. The discovery 
of America in 1492, and the doubling of the (Jape of Good 
Hope gave new and extensive regions for botanical research. 
By 151)0, Otto Brnmfels had made and published t\ic first good 
wood cuts of living plants. In 1532, Jean Bauhin was eon- 
verted to Protestantism by reading Erasmus' Latin translation 
of the new testament. He had to flee from France to the 
Swiss city Basel, where he became proof reader in the establish- 
ment of Jean Froben Erasmus publisher, and the first To intro- 
duce the Roman letters in place of the Gothic. While in 
Basel, Jean Bauhin, Jr. is born and becomes the Swiss physi. 
cian and naturalist. He was a pupil of the botanist Fuchs, also 
a German physician, who corrected many errors in the nomen- 
clature of plants. Our American plant, the ear-drop, commem- 
orates him in its name l<hiafma. Bauhin also accompanied 
Conrad Gesner in his extended botanical excursions through 
central Europe, and who, in his Opera Botanica, (15G0) sug- 
gested the possibility of classifying by the organs of fructifica- 
tion. As court physician Bauhin had charge of the ducal gar- 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 

I 1 


dens of Mumpalgard containing many plants recently intro- 
duced into Europe. lie described about 5,1)00 plants, illustrat- 
ing 3577 with figures in his " Universal History of Hants." 
Matthew Lobel, of Lille, about 1570, drew well the rudiments 
of several natural families and was the first to distinguish ino- 
nocotvlcdinons and dieotyledinous plants, terms having refer- 
ence only to organs of reproduction. Moving to England he 
was chosen physician and botanist to James I. His "History 
of Plants," published in Antwerp 1570, was illustrated by fig- 
ures, lie died in 1515, leaving his name embalmed in the bo- 
tanical order Lobeliacem. 

Andrews Ojesalpinus, an Italian physiologist, first mentioned 
in public' life as "Prof, of Botany in the University of Pisa" 
and subsequently as chief physician to Clement VII, died in 
1003. lie was called, by Limneus, the first systemetic botanist; 
;ind his work on plants was a hand-book to Limneus in all his 
classifications. In his early lite botany, because, perhaps, of its 
study in connection with the healing art, was the science of 
magic and witchcraft. Ciesalpinus successfully transferred ir 
from the domain of magic to its present and true realm of 
science. His was the classification on which the whole Linnean 
system rests, namely the distinctions of plants in their parts of 
fructification. He divided trees according to the germ ; made 
a better distinction of the sex of duecious plants, giving mascu- 
line names to the stamens and feminine names to the pistils. He 
was also the first to analyze some of the important organs of 
vegetation. His judgment and power of observation and his 
clear statement of results, may be seen in the second chapter of 
his first book, wherein he antedates Ilarvy by more that a quar- 
ter of a century, concerning the circulation of the blood. lie 
says "for in animals Ave see that the nutriment is carried 
through the veins to the heart, as to the laboratory, and its last 
perfection being there attained, it is driven by the spirit which 
is begotten in the heart, through the arteries and distributed to 
the whole body." 

As Cjesalpinus was called, by Limneus, the first systematic 
botanist, it may not be uninteresting to the students of to day 
to see his method as it was published in 1583. 


Berkshire .Historical and Scientific Society. 


I hioks and •., ,, , ;it the apex of the seed . 

-with the embryo- . ,, / ,. ,, , 

J ( at the base 01 the seed li. 

( seeds ;>. 

( with solitary - berries -1. 

( capsules .... 5. 

j seeds (i. 

j capsules 7. 

.,,.•! . . . ( not bulbous 8. 

with tnpple principle i i ,, ,, 

111 ( bulbous 0. 

Undkk Siiituiis ! with four seeds 10. 

and Herbs ] f flower common <{ An tliemetles 11. 

divided on the \ Achoraeeu- / - 

with two 

with seeeds 


to}) ol the seeds / S. Acanaeea- \ 
tlower eoimnon ) 
not divided 
inferior ) 

[ in fodicles 14. 

[ destitute of flowers and fruit 15. 

Liniiams called him a FHiclist (Fructista,), Ixscanse he ar- 
ranged his system according to the receptacle and the fruit. 
" Ye shall know them by their fruits." 

Aboiit a hundred years later, 1 l>l)U, Dr. Robert Morison, of 

Scotland, constructed a system, using as his base tho corolla and 
the habits of vegetables, as follows: 




Arbores (trees) 1. 

Frutiees (shrubs) 2. 

Sulfruticu (under shrubs) o. 

\ Scandentes (elimbers) 4. 

Leguunnosa? (as peas and beans) 5. 

Siliquos;e (like mustard) 0. 

Tricapsulares (three capsuled) 7. 

A numero cap ularum 

(from the number of capsules) 8. 

i:orymbiferu'(clusteis) 9. 

Laeteseentes \ hiilk weeds, \ ^,. 

Papposd ( thistles, &c. \ ' 

Culmifene (having stalks as rye) 11. 

Umbellifene (like caraway) 12. 

Trieoccie (three-seeded capsule) b> 

Galeahe (helmeted) 14. 

Multicapsulares IS 

Baceifene (producing berries) 10. 

Capilares (hair-like).. 17. 

I lleteroelit;e (anomalous) 18. 

Paul Hermann, of Saxony, arranged plants according as 
they have their seeds naked or enclosed in a pencap. 

Ri vinos, in 1690, was the first Corollist, His classes are 
founded on \\\a corolla and his orders on the fruit. 

Tooenefort, in 161)4, ])iihlished a system in which the classes 
tire taken from the regularity and form of the corolla; the or- 
ders from the situation of the tlower, above or beneath the 


The Early Botany of Berkshire. 13 

The many changes of base in the matter of classification to 
tin; present time suggest the line of Virgil about the difficulty 
of founding the Roman nation. 

" TftnUu molis emit Romjinatn condcrc gentem." 

Because of European wars little progress was made till after 
1650. Then Leeuwenliock with improved microscopes entered 

upon the examination of plants and thus awakened a new in- 
terest in the study. lie died in 1723, the next year after Jos- 
eph Parsons and 176 others of Hampshire county, petitioned 
the General Assembly of the Province of Massaehussets for two 
townships of land on the river Monsatnnnnk or Westbrook. 
Hence, tip to that date, we could hardly expect an ample de- 
scription of native plants. 

Eight years after the landing of the Pilgrims was horn Mar- 
cellns Malpighi, who laid the foundation of vegetable botany 
by examining cells and types of plants. Much attention was 
directed to their anatomy and physiology, lie and Xehemiah 
Grew, horn in 165S, were the founders of phytophysiologv. lie 
was made physician to Pope Innocent XII in 10Sl,and died in 
1694. Just a hundred years before the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, a declaration of the fertilizing power of pollen from 
the anthers was first made by Millhigton and Hobart. In 1(>{)4 
Jacques Oamerarius proved the sexes of plants as well as of an- 
imals; one of the most striking victories which Natural Science 
had gained. The science of Botany, as now modified, dates 
not back of 1(>S^, when Grew published his "Anatomy of 
Plants/' A few years later Tonrnefort, professor of botany in 
the garden of plants in Paris, published his " Elements of Pot- 
any," with the first attempt to deiine the exact limit of genera 
and species. His work was published in 1694, as above named, 
or "method of learning plants." Several classifications of his 
have been preserved by Limueus. Selecting the form of the 
corolla as the basis of his classification, he contributed more, 
perhaps, than any other man to the progress of the science. 
Instruction was made a pleasure by taking for scientific study 
the most attractive part of the plant. His was the first known 
system of classifying and it met with great favor among his 

1-t Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Conrad Gesner, before mentioned, must ,havc the honor of 
first suggesting the expediency of dividing plants into claused 
genera&nd specie's, and the necessity of taking the distinguish- 
ing characteristics from the flower and fruit. 

John Kay, of England, (1703), using the discovery of Grew 
and other anatomists in his History of Plants, gave a philoso- 
phy of classification, better appreciated now than in his own 
day. Classification was only a means of identification, not a 
line: of demarcation ; this latter could not he for nature leap.-. 
not from one extreme to another, but approaches a mean so 
gradually that the meeting point is not a determinable limit. 
Ray also laid the foundation of the inductive school Of Botany. 
In l~i'2() Magnol arranged a system on the variety of the calyx 
or corolla. The order Magnolia does him lasting honor. 

The Linmean system appeared in 1735. His new mode of 
classification was greatly admired, and, gaining supremacy, held 
it to the end of the LSth century. His system was based on the 
organs of fructification, stamens and pistils, till then over- 
looked, and whose functions have since been clearly proven. 
His system, founded on differences and not similarity of 
plants, gave no knowledge beyond the stamens and pistils. He 
saw the deficiencies and tried to work out a natural system to 
be " prinium et ultimatum in botanicis desideratum." The 
history of Oar] Von Linne, the most renowned of naturalists, 
will amply repay the student for reading it. Here we may 
only refer to a single item. Among the honeysuckles is a trail- 
ing evergreen herb, widely disseminated in the northern tem- 
perate zone, called the twin-flower, or LinhiBti borealis. For- 
mer botanists had named it Campanula serpyllifolia. When 
Linnaeus gathered and studied it, on the method of fructifica- 
tion, he found it constituted a new genus. He preserved, in 
his own mind, this discovery till other discoveries and their 
publication entitled him to botanical commemoration. Then 
through Gronovius, his friend, this new name was given to the 
world; Linnaeus published it in his "Genera of Plants," 1737, 
and in his "Crjtica Botanica," page SO 'figures and describes it 
as "a humble, despised and neglected Lapland plant, flowering 
at an early age, like the person whose name it bears." " Its 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 1T> 

lonely, depressed growth," lie said "was a fitting emblem of 
his own early fate." 

Bernard de Jussieu, demonstrator of botany in Paris, lias the 
honor of working out the first natural system, though the prin- 
ciples had been established by Ray, with whose writings, how- 
ever, Bernard was unacquainted. His system, based on the 
natural affinities of plants, was adopted in arranging the garden 
at Trianon in 1759. But ITS',) is the date of the true creation 
of natural families among vegetables by Antoine Laurient de 
Jussieu. In 1790 shortly after Jussieu had published his 
"Genera," the poet Goethe, a naturalist also, published a pam- 
phlet on the "Metamorphoses of Plants/' The functions of 
plants, at this time, were thought to he well known, lie may 
have read of Theophrastus' idea that certain forms of leaves 
were mere modifications of other forms quite unlike; Linmeus 
had a like idea for he speaks of the parts of a flower as modi- 
Hod leaves whose development was anticipated. Go?the takes 
up this theory and demonstrates that all the organs an; modifi- 
cations of the leaf. His views, at first, met with little favor 
from botanists till Robert Brown elucidated Gfcthe's theory, 
showing by the microscope that the law applies, not only to 
the external parts of plants, but even to their tissues. Mr. 
Brown helped largely to perfect tin; natural system, till now 
we have over 300 families of which more than half are used 
in our American botanies. 

While this science was spreading in Europe, America he- 
came a good field for discovery and investigation. As early as 
1685 we find J. ( •oniutus, a French physician, publishing in 
Paris a history of the plants of Canada, where, among other 
plants, was found in the bogs, by Dr. Sanazin of Quebeck, the 
pitcher plant; and Toil rnef or t named it, as a generic name, Sar- 

Mark Oatesby published, in 1741), the natural history of Car- 
olina, Florida and the Bahamas. T. Clayton, a great botanist 
of Virginia, puhlished his discoveries in 1704; Olaytonia, or 
spring beauty, commemorates him. M. (hitler wrote an ac- 
oiint of the vegetable productions of New England in 17S5, 
thought to hi; the first essay of a scientific description. Dr. 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Adam Kulm of Pennsylvania, a pupil of Linmeus, was the iir.^t 
American professor of botany, (1768.) The genus Kuhnia of 
tlie order Compositse keeps green his serviee. James Logan, 
(Loganiacese) secretary to William Penn, experimented with 
Indian corn concerning the sexuality of plants; and says that S. 
Morland stated, that the pollen entered the ovary through the 
style, (1 (JIM)). 

Jacob Bigelow published liis Florida BostOninesis in 1814. 
But David Ilosack had published, 1801-1 1, his Ilortus Elgin- 
ensis, a scientific catalogue of plants, indiginous and exotic, 
which he had obtained for the Elgin botanic garden near the 
city. Tie was born in New York 17o M .), and died there in 
1885. lie was M. D., L. L. I), and an author, a graduate of 
Princeton in L789; received his M. D. in Philadelphia 1791 ; in 
1793 was in London studying anatomy under Dr. Andrew Mar- 
shall; botany with Sir James Edward Smith and Schnieisser in 
mineralogy from whom he obtained a collection of minerals and 
brought them with him, the first collection of that nature in- 
troduced in America. To this he added a duplicate collection 
of plants from the herbarium 'of Linnams,now in the lyceuni of 
Natural History of New York. In 1795, the year of Williams 
College first commencement, he was appointed professor of bot- 
any in Oolumljj'a College and soon after published a syllabus of 
bis lectures. He was long associated with the prominent men 
of New York; one of the original projectors of the New ^ ork 
Historical Society. He proscribed politics as outside the bounds 
of medical life, and yet it was a common report that the insti- 
tutions of the city were under the control of the memorable 
trio Clinton, Ilosack and Ilobart. I have written so much con- 
cerning him because like most botanists he followed the medi- 
cal profession for usefulness and support ; hut more especially 
lie is a connecting link with my subject, as you will soon see. 

Amos Eaton, born in Chatham (1 770) graduated from Wil- 
liams College (1 7i> ( .>.) For several years he devoted his study 
to the Natural Sciences. In 1810 he delivered, at Catskill, a 
popular course of lectures on botany. Under date of Aug. 30, 
1810, Dr. Ilosack writes to Prof. Eaton " You have set an ex- 
ample that I do not doubt will be followed by many, if not most 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 17 

of the academies of the state. * * The state of New York 
having passed an act for the purchase of a Botanical Garden in 
the neighborhood of the city, I hope to .see among its fruits the 
establishment of many similar institutions throughout the state. 
You have adopted, in my opinion, the true system of educa- 
tion ; and very properly address yourself to the senses and to 
the memory, instead of to the faculties of judgment and reason, 
which are comparatively of slow growth. * * To you and 
your pupils, as first in the field, much praise is due, etc." 

His first attempt, in this country at a popular course of lec- 
tures, with a view to make practical botanists of young people 
of all conditions and pursuits, was made in May, 1810. Dr. 
Ilosaek was his teacher in 1802, to whom he wrote of his plans 
and received the above reply. In 1815, Mr. Eaton translated 
from the works of Piersou, Pursh and Michaux, and made ex- 
tracts enough from other authors to supply material for the first 
edition of his " Manual of Botany." He says, " I was favored 
with books and advice by Prof. Ives of Yale College, also with 
books by Gov. Clinton of New York. The first edition was 
published in a contracted form by seventy-two students of Wil- 
liams College, WilliamstOwri, Mass., as no bookseller would risk 
the publication. A thousand copies were published and ready 
for use in June ; and not a copy was left after six months. An 
enlarged edition was ready in the spring of 1818. In 1840 the 
eighth edition was completed of two thousand five hundred 
copies, the five preceding editions of two thousand copies 
each." The whole number of species published to date 5986. 
He used the Linmeum system, together with that of Jnssien, 
(ascendant) that is, beginning with the lowest orders and end- 
ing with the highest. 

The dedication is as follows: 








IS Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 





The science of botany is indebted to you for its first intro- 
duction into the interior of the northern .states. And I am in- 
debted to yon for a passport into the scientific world after that 
protracted series of misfortunes which sunk me to the lowest 
ebb of human misery. Permit me, therefore, 
To inscribe to you 


As a testimony of that gratitude and esteem 

which is due to the patrons of Science 

and of suffering humanity. 

Your grateful, 

Humble servant, 

Amos Eaton. 
"preface to the second ed1ton. 
A preface is unnecessary to a work which conies out under a 
great name; more especially if it be the name of an European. 
But when a native American presents to his countrymen a book 
purporting to be a work relating to science, he must be very 
particular to tell us 'by what authority he does these things.' 
The tirst edition of the manuel was published by the students 
of Williams College for their own private use." Before this 
second edition was published we find him lecturing in various 
places as the following item will show: 

Northampton, Nov. 24, 1817. 
To all wlioru it may concern: 

On the recommendation of the President and faculty of Wil- 
liams College, together with that of professors Silliman and 
Ives of Vale College, and Prof. Mitchell of New York, Mr. 
Eaton was employed in this town to deliver a course of lectures 
on botany and a course of lectures on the elements of chemis- 
try, mineralogy and geology. lie has now closed his course to 
the entire satisfaction of his employers, and, we think to the 
advantage of his pupils. As his class consisted chiefly of 
ladies, and as these branches of learning have not hitherto en- 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 1 9 

gaged the attention of that sex, we take the liberty to state that, 
from this experiment, we feel authorized to recommend these; 
brandies as a very useful part of female education. 
Caleb Strong, 

(late Governor of Massachusetts.) 

Solomon Williams, D. I)., 

(Pastor of Presbyterian Church in Northampton.) 

Ebenezer Hunt, 


JosrAu Dwigut, 

(County Clerk. 

Elijah H. Mills, 

(Representative in Congress. 

David Hunt, 


Before leaving Prof. Eaton, let this he mentioned, that 0. S. 
Patinesque, an American botanist, though born in Constanti- 
nople, gave to one of the three hundred genera of grasses the 
honored name of Eatonia, a genus containing two species, both 
named by Prof. Gray, and both found in this county; present 
names Eatonia obtusata, by Prof. Dewey called Aira tuncata; 
E. Pennsylvania, by Prof. Dewey called Aira flexnosa. 

Prof. Dewey, just mentioned, was the same as named in the 
dedication by Prof. Eaton. He was born in Sheffield, Oct. 25, 
1784, and so is of this county an honored ropresentative. He 
entered Williams College in 1802, showing a decided prefer- 
ence for natural science. In 1808 he Avas tutor and two years 
later, professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in Wil- 
liams College. He established on a permanent basis the de- 
partments of chemistry and botany. In 1822 he began to lec- 
ture on botany and chemistry to the students of the Medical col- 
lege in Pittstiekl ; and in 1827 took charge of the Gymnasium 
(now Maplewood) and made it a success, often lecturing for the 
public good, as 1 many yet living here can testify. 

lie and Prof. Silliman of Yale, were pioneers in the tield of 
American science; organizing, in the early part of this century, 
forces in behalf of the natural sciences. While familiar with 
all departments of science his specialty was botany; and of the 
Carices in particular. His unequalled collection of grasses he 
>ave to Williams College. His last year was spent in their ar- 


20 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

rangement. He wrote the Natural History part of the History 
of Berkshire, 1S26, giving therein the names of the plants of 
this county according to the nomenclature of his clay. I>y 
much patient study only can one find all of them in modern 


As a pioneer in the department of Carices he had opportu- 
nity for discovering and naming some forty-five species now 
called by the same names in Wood's Botany; and one was 
named, to honor him, the Dewey ana by his friend Sehkuhr. 

Of those named by himself, fourteen commemorate persons 
or places. 

The task assigned me was not a review of his work', or the t 
botany of his time in this county, but rather as much as possible 
to find the native vegetation of the county when men began to 
settle here. We may well say that a hundred years before him 
would make but little change, yet the results of the effort to 
discover facts may not be uninteresting. 

The earliest attempt to describe some of the vegetation of 
New England I have yet met with is found in Josselyn's Ac- 
count of two Voyages to New England. The first made in 
1638, commencing April 20 and ending Nov. 24, 1039. About 
eleven months he spent in making observations and taking- 
notes, which, on his return, ripened into a published book on 
"The Rarities of New England." In 1603 he made his second 
voyage, a full account of which is found in Vol. 3 of the third 
series of Massachusetts Historical Collections. 

In this second voyage, or the history thereof, he makes fre- 
quent use of his Rarities of New England. II is descriptions of 
trees and plants must be given in his own words ; so may we 
get some of the flavor of botanic knowledge in his day. 

"The plants in New England for variety, number, beauty 
and vertues, may stand in Competition with the plants of any 
Countrey in Europe. Johnson hath added to Gerard's Herbal 
300, and Parkinson mentioneth many more; had they been in 
New England they might have found 1000, at least, never 
heard of nor seen by any Englishmen before ; 'Tis true, the 
Countrie hath no Bonerets or Tartarian ibs, no glittering col- 
oured Tulips', but here you have the American Jlary-Gold, 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 2 1 

the Earth-nut, bearing a princely Flower, the beautiful Pirola, 
the honied Colibry, &c. They are generally of (somewhat) i\ 
more masculine vertue^ than any of the saint; species in Eng- 
land, hut not in so terrible a degree, as to be mischievous or in- 
effectual to our English bodies. It is affirmed by .some that no 
f arraign. Drugg or Simple can be so ^proper to Englishmen as 
their awn, for the quantity of Opium 'which Turks do safely 
take will kill four Englishmen, and that which will saloetheir 
wounds within a day, will not recuve an Englishman in 

The Gerard referred to above was a famous surgeon, as well 
a herbalist in the time of Elizabeth. His second edition of hie 
Herbal was in 1636. We owe to him and his friends the dis- 
covery of many plants. Half a century later lie was planted in 
the botany under the name of Gerddia (an American herb of 
much beauty) by Plunder, a French botanist, whose first publi- 
cation was a description of American plants 1693, at his King's 
expense. He first proved the cochineal to be an animal 1694. 

The account says, "The English in New England take 
White Hellebore? which operates as purely with them, as 
with the Indians, who, steeping it in water some time, give it 
to the young lads, gathered together a purpose to drink; if it 
come up they force them to drink again their vomit (which 
they save in a Birchen-dish) till it staves with them, and he 
that gets the victory of it is made Captain of the other lads for 
that year. 11 After writing of the oak and red oak, he says, 
u Captain Smith 'writes that in New England there grows a cer- 
tain berry called Kermes, worth ten shillings a pound and had 
been formerly sold for thirty or forty shillings a pound, which 
may yearly he gathered in good quantity. I have sought for 
this berry, as a man should seek for a needle in a bottle of Hay, 
hut could never light upon it, unless that kind of Solomon-seal, 
called by the English Treacle-berry, be it. Gerard our famous 
herbalist, writes tluiC they grow upon a little tree called Scarlet- 
Oake, the leaves have one sharpe prickle at the end of it; it 
heareth small Acorns; But the grain or berry grows out of the 
woody branches, like an excresence of the substance of the 
Oake-Apple and of the bigness of Pease, at first white, when 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

ripe, of an Asli-colonr, which ingenders little Maggots, which, 
when it begins to have wings are put into a bag and boulted up 

and down till dead, and then made up into lumps; the Maggot, 
as most do deem, is Cntchenele; so that Chermes is Cutch- 
enele; the berries dye scarlet. Mr. George Sands, in his 
Travels saith, that scarlet dye grows like a blister on the leaf of 
the Holy Oake, a little shrub yet producing Acorns; being 
gathered they rub out of it a certain red dust, that converteth, 
after a while into worms which they kill with wine when they 
begin to quicken." 

" The Pine tree challengeth the next place, and that sort 
which is called Board-pine is the principal. It is a stately, large 
tree, very tall and sometimes two or three fadom about; of the 
body the English make large Canoes of twenty foot long and 
two foot and a half over, hollowing of them with an Adds and 
shaping the outside like a Boat. The bark is good for ulcers in 
tender persons that refuse sharp medicines. The inner bark of 
the young board-pine, cut small and stampt and boiled in a 
(Gallon of water is a very soverign medicine for a burn or scald, 
washing the sore with some of the decoction, and then laying 
on the bark stampt very soft; or for frozen limbs, to take out 
the fire and to heel them * * wash the sore with the liquor, 
stamp the bark again till it be very soft and bind it on. The 
Turpentine is excellent to heal wounds and cuts; the Rosen is 
as good as Frankincense, and the powder of the dried leaves 
generateth flesh ; the distilled water of the green cones taketh 
away wrinkles in the face, being laid on with Moths. 

The F'trr tree is a large tree too, but seldom so big as the 
Pine, the bark is smooth, with knobs or blisters, in which lyeth 
clear liquid Turpentine, very good to be put into salves and 
oyntments; the leaves or cones boiled in beer are good for Senr- 
vie; the young buds are excellent to put into Epitliemes for 
warts and corns; the rosen is altogether as good as Frankin- 
cense; out of this tree the Poleakers draw Bitch and Tarr. 

Spruce trees are described and then the Hemlock trees; "the 
bark boiled and stampt till it be very soft is excellent for to 
heal wounds and so is the turpentine thereof; and that from 
the Larch tree (which is nearest of any to the right turpentine) 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 23 

is singularly good to heal wounds and to draw out the malice 
of any Aeh, rubbing the place therewith, and strewing upon it 
the powder of sage leaves. 

The Sassafras tree is no great tree; the rind is tawny and 
upon that a thin colour of ashes; the inner part is white, of an 
excellent smell like Fennel; of a sweet taste with some bitter- 
ness; the leaves are like Fig leaves, of a dark green. A de- 
coction of the roots and hark thereof, sweetened with sugar, is 
good for the Scurvie. 

The Walnut, which is divers, some hearing square nuts, 
others like ours, but smaller. It is the toughest wood in the 
Countrie, and, therefore, used for Hoops and Bowes. 

The Maple tree. On the houghs of this tree I have often 
found a jellied substance like Jew's- Ears, which I found upon 
tryal, to be good for sore throat. 

The Birch tree is of two kinds, ordinarily Birch and black 
Birch- Many of these trees are srript of their hark by the In- 
dians who make of it their Canows, Kettles and Birchen- 
dishes; there is an excresence growing out of the body of the 
tree called spunek, or dead men's caps; it grows at the roots of 
Ash, or Beech, or Elm ; but the best is that which grows upon 
the black Birch; this boiled and beaten and then dried in an 
oven maketh excellent Touchwood and Balls to play with. 

Alder, abundant in swamps, has bark good for a strain. An 
Indian, bruising his knee, chewed some of the bark fasting, 
laid it to, which quickly heald him. 

Thus much concerning trees; now I shall present to your 
view the Shrubs, and first, of the Sumach, which differeth 
from all kinds set down in our English Jlerbals. The root 
dyeth wool or cloth redish ; the decoction of the leaves in wine 
drunk, is good for all F nixes. For galled places, stain]) the 
leaves with honey and apply it, nothing so soon healeth a 
wound in the head as Sumach, stampt and applied once in three 
days; the powder sti Lied in stayeth the bleeding of wounds; 
the seeds pounded and mixed with honey healeth the Ilemor- 
hoids; the gum put into a hollow tooth assuayeth the pain; the 
bark or berries in the full of the leaf is as good as galls to make 
ink of. 

24 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Elder in Kew England is shruble and dies once in two 

Juniper hears skie-colored berries, i\n\ upon by Partridges, 
and hath a woodie root, which indnceth me to believe that, the 
plants mentioned in Job 30:4, Qui decerjjebant luzrhas K Sal- 
silayvne cunt stirpihus y etiawi radices J r uni pern u m ciboercint 
litis, (who cut up Mellons by the bushes and Juniper roots for 
their meat,) was our Indian plant Cassava. They write that 
Juniper coals preserve tire longest of any, keeping lire a whole 
year without supply, yet the Indian never burns it. 

Sweet fern boiled in water or milk and drunk helpeth all 
manner of Fluxes, and makes an excellent liquor for ink. 

Current-bushes are of two kinds, red and black, which are 
larger than the red and smell disagreeable, yet are reasonably 
pleasant eating. 

The (foosebrry-bush, whose berries are called Grosers, or 
thorn (Trapes, grow all over the Couutrie. The berry is small, 
of a red or purple colour when ripe* 

Maze, otherwise called Turkic-wheat, or Indian wheat, the 
leaves boiled and drunk helpeth pain in the back; of the stalks 
when green you may make Beverage, as they do with Calo- 
mel, or Sugar canes. The raw Corn, chewed, ripens felons or 
Cats-hairs; or you may lay Samp to it; the Indians, before it 
be thorow ripe, eat of it parched. Certainly the parched corn 
that Abigail brought to David was of this kind of grain, I 
Sam. 25:18. The Jewe's maimer was (as it is delivered tons 
by a learned divine) first, to parch their corn, then they fryed 
it and lastly they boiled it to a paste, and then tempered it with 
water, Cheese-curds, Honey and Eggs, this they carried drye 
with them to the camp and so wet the Cakes in Wine or milk ; 
such, too, was the pulse of Africa. 

French hearts, or rather American beans, the Herbalists call 
them Kidney beans, for they strengthen the Kidneys; they are 
variegated much, some being bigger a great deal than others; 
some white, black, red, yellow, blew and spotted. The red 
tlowers in duly. 

Sarsaparilla, or rough-bined weed, (Smilax rotundifolia); the 
leaves and whole bind set with thorns, of this there is store 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 


growing upon the banks of Ponds; the leaves pounded with 
Hog's grease, and boiled to an nngent, is excellent in curing 

Live-forever iiourisheth all summer; is good for cough of the 
lungs, and to cleanse the breath, taken as you do Tobacco; and 
for pain in the head; the juice strained and drunk in Bear, 
Wine or Aqua vitie killeth worms. The fishermen, when they 
want Tobacco, take this herb, being cut and dryed. 

Lysiinachus, or Loose-stripe, of several kinds. The most 
noted is the yellow; the root is longish and white, as thick as 
one's thumb; the stalkes of an overworn color,' and a little 
hairie ; the middle vein of the leaf whitish and the flower yel- 
low, and like Primroses, and therefore called Tree Primose; 
grows upon seedie vessels, etc. The first year it grows, not up 
to a stalke, but sends up many large leaves, handsomely lying 
one upon another, ..Rose fashion; flowers in June; the seed is 
l'ipe in August; this, as I have said, is taken by the English 
for Scabious. 

St. Johnswort, it preserveth Cheese made up of it, at sea. 

Spurge, or Wolf's milch, there are several sorts, (Euphorbia) 
Avons, or herb-bonnet, (Rosacea* Geum). A neighbor of mine 
in Hay-time, having overheat himself and melted his grease, 
with striving to out mowe another man, fell dangerously sick, 
not being able to turn himself in his bed, his stomach gone, 
and his heart fainting ever and anon; to whom I administered 
the decoction of Avons Root and leaves in water and wine, 
swectning it with Syrup of Clove-Gilliflowers; in one week's 
time it recovered him so that he was able to perform his daily 

Red hilly growes all over the Countrey among the bushes. 

Umbilicus veneris? or Kew England daisie, it is good for 

hot humors, Erisipeias, St. Anthonies' fire and all inflamations. 

\Vate?'-plantum, called Suck-leaves and Scurvie-leaves ; you 

must lay them whole to the leggs to draw out water between 

the skin and the flesh. 

Fuss halls, Mull/ 'pufers, are to be found plentifully." 

Much more of the same pleasing information might be gath- 
ered from the " Rarities of New England,'' but I resist the 

20 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

temptation, having touched upon those only that grow in Berk- 
shire, a part of New England not visited by our early natural- 
ist. With like interest lie describes the animals, birds, beasts 
and fishes, shell-fish and insects, diseases, and polities, religion 
and witchcraft; but all tins while Berkshire was ripening for 
our botanical Sickle. 

Let us now step over the narrow limits of a century into tlie 
midst of a contention, ending in an accepted survey, made in 
174-1 by Richard Ilazzen, of the line separating Massachusetts 
from New Hampshire. 

The settlement of this line bad long been a matter of dis- 
agreement. Little was known of the interior of the country-; 
and the assumptions of the Kings' counsellors were as likely to 
be wrong as right. To illustrate, when Massachusetts was 
chartered with a boundary line three miles north of the Merri- 
mack river, it was taken for granted that the river flowed from 
the west to the east. Later discoveries, showing that its course 
was nearly south, rendered of no avail their former opinions as 
to boundary relations. 

From 1725 to 1740 the controversy increased. Committees 
met and adjourned. Massachusetts contending for a line three 
miles from the Merrimack, as far as Franklin, N. II., where 
the Pemigewasset and the Winhipesaukee meet. New Hamp- 
shire knew of no Merrimack above where salt water flows, or 
"the first falls about a mile above the Haverhill Meeting- 
house. '' Finally in March, 174o, PaWtueket Falls was decided 
upon by the King as the starting point. This would give New 
Hampshire a strip of fourteen miles which she had never 
claimed. Gov. Belcher, of New Hampshire, applied to both 
governments to appoint surveyors. Mr. Ilazzen and Mitchell 
began their line " from a point three miles due north of Paw- 
tucket Falls on the Merrimack Pi ver ; on a due west line till it 
meets his Majesty's other governments.'' The " Great Bunt," 
or starting point was a noted fishing place on the west side of 
Beaver Brook ; the falls were rapids extending nearly a mile. 
The upper portion was chosen for a starting point, and as the 
course of the river was northwest, Massachusetts gained nearly 
a mile. 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 27 

Saturday, March 21, 1741, after measuring three miles to the 
north, lie starts westwards 10° north from a pitch pine tree, 
etc. In his survey lie occasionally mentiones the kinds of 
trees. Ahout fourteen miles of this survey is on the northern 
boundary of Berkshire county so named twenty years later. 

Saturday, April 11th, he measured seven miles, lodging 
where two brooks met, "where we left Our bottle, and there- 
fore, called it Bottle Brook." (Northeast comer of Florida.) 

"Sunday, April 12th. This day we measured" 4:1:50. 

Remarks. At the end of three miles we Came upon the 
Top of an Exceeding High Mountain from whence we dis- 
covered a large Mountain which lyes Southwesterly of Albany, 
and also a How of large mountains on East side of us bearing 
North and South nearest and a Ridge of exceeding high Moun- 
tains three or four miles before us bearing the same Course, 
and a tine valley betwixt them and and us on each side of the 
line big enough for Townships. At 130 poles further we 
Crossed a Branch of the Iloseh running Northwesterly. With 
difficulty we waded it and lodged by it on the West side that 
night. The first part of the day was good traveling, but heavy 
by noon and betwixt the Two Hi vers the Snow was almost all 
gone. It Clouded over before Night and rained some time 
before day, which caused us to stretch Our blankets and lye 
under them on ye bare Ground, which was the first bare ground 
we laid on after we left Northtield. There was little wind this 

Monday, Aqril 13th. This day we measured from Hosek 
River 4:2-0, which was Only Over One Mountain. 

Observations. This Mountain was Exceeding good Land, 
bearing beech, Black birch and Hemlock, some Basswood. Over 
this Mountain we Concluded the line would run betwixt A T ew 
York Government and these whenever in should be settled, and 
therefore named it Mount Belcher, that it might be as Stand- 
ing a Boundary as Endicutt's Tree. We lodged again on a 
Spot of Dare Ground by a Brook Running Southwesterly, 
which, being full of Clay, we named it Clay Brook. We had 
some thunder showers in the Nijj'ht which Obliged us to Rise 
and Stretch Our Blankets. The weather was Cloudy all day 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and no wind stirring, and the Snow for ye Last three miles 
about Five feet Deep; the mile and a half but little. 
Tuesday, April 14th. This day we begun to measure at Clay 

Brook and measured 5:2:50. 

Jtemavk&a At the End of 220 poles we Crossed the afore- 
said Clay Brook again ronning Northerly. At 280 poles more 
we Came to a River Running Northeast and very Swift. At 
540 poles more we Came to a large Brook running Northeast- 
erly, all which we supposed were branches of ilosek River. 
This day we Crossed no verry large Mountains, and there was 
little Snow for Three Miles, and on many places none, but the 
remainder of this day's measure, it was near Two feet Deep; 
and where we lodged, about two and a half. The land was 
good for Settlements, bearing large White Oaks in some places, 
in others Beech, Maple, White Ash, etc. The weather was fair 
and wind Northwesterly, and Near Night a nicer Hurricane." 

From these excerpts we learn what were some of the trees on 
the northern boundaries of Florida, Clarksburg and Williams- 

Their names are mostly generic, since they were like trees so 
named in Europe, and hence so called here by the early settlers. 

In 1787 a survey was made by Thomas Ilutchins for the 
final settlement of the boundary between New York and Mas- 
sachusetts. Of this survey the following is a copy, with state- 
ment for nearly every mile. The survey was made from the 
Connecticut line northward fifty miles, forty-one chains and 
seventy-nine links. 

N. end of line. Black or red oak tree, <H ft. diam. N. Y. (tree 1787) Mass. 
Spring o 

A post and stones on a descent from maple tree, 2 feet 8 inches 

in diameter. 
. . 17th transit post on cast side of a small eminence. 
. .10th transit post on east side of a small eminence. 
A post and stones on east side of a small eminence ; f rom this post 

a maple tree 10 inches in diameter, blazed on west, bears N. 

85 z , E. 10 links. There is a spring in the same direction 9 

links further. 
A post near the bottom of the north descent of a hill, from which 

a birch tree 3 feet in diameter, blazed on the west side, bears 

N. 58°, E. 30 links. 

Miles 50 



The Early Botany of Berkshire. 


Miles 47 



A post on ji steep part of the north descent of a hill, from which 

a hemlock 2 feet in diameter, blazed on the west, bears X. 

08°, E. 10 links. 
. .15th transit post on the east side of a gradual eminence. 
A post and stones at the west side of a steep high eminence. 
A post and stones at the south foot of an eminence, from which ;i 

maple tree 2 feet in diameter, blazed on the west side, hears 
- E. 4 links, x 

A post and stones on the east side of an eminence. 
. .14th transit post on top of a hill supported by large stones. 
A stake and stones on the west side of an eminence; from which a 

beech tree 8 inches in diameter, blazed on the west side, bears 

S. 17°, E 


. .13th transit post on east side of an eminence. 

A beech tree 9 feet in diameter, marked 41 and an M above it on 

the north side 2 links west of N. line. 
. .12th transit post on Mount Misery. 
A post on east side of eminence, the foot of which, is about 5 

chains east of a beech tree 20 inches in diameter, blazed on 

east side, bears N 45°, W. 10 links from N. post. 
A stake and stones in William Keeteh's field. 
A stake and stones on the south side of a high steep eminence in 

Thomas Eldredge's field. 
. .11th transit post on Round's Mountain. 
Stake and stones in the vista, cut by the Commissioners. 
A stake and stones in Daniel Brown's held. 
. .A white limestone rock on the east side of an eminence. 
A post. 

A post on the west side of a hill. 
. .Southwest angle of Van Rensselaer's manor, here fixed post and 

A post and stones. 
. .Noah Wheaton's. 
. .A fence in the woods. 
A post and stones. 
. .10th transit post on top of a hill. 
. .John Waddam's house and orchard. 
A post and stones on top of an ascent in a field. 
. .Samuel Hand's. 

A stake and and stones on a high eminence. 
. . A barn. 

A stake and stones on the southwest descent of a hill. 
A stake and stones on the north descent of a hill. 
9th transit post on Richmond Mountain. 
A stake and stones in a field. 
. .A dry oak stump in the line. 


Berhsfilre Historical and Scientific Society. 




Miles G 

B. Creek 

Miles 4 

. .Dupee's barn. 

. .A maple tree 15 inehes in diameter, with east side in the line 

A chestnut post on level land covered with woods. 

. .A. Mirey place. 

A stake and stones at the east foot of an ascent. 

. .8th transit post in .Joseph Rowley's field. 

A stake and stones in Joseph Rowley's Held. 

A stake and stones on the west side of a hill. 

A stake and stones in a meadow. 

..Samuel Hartlewis' Hills Dale. 

Stake and stones in Benjamin Newberry's field. 

. .7th transit post on Indian Mountain. 

A stake and stones on the top of the steepest part of an ascent. 

A stake and stones on the side of a hill. 

A stake and stones on the side of a hill. 

A stake and stones on the side of a hill. 

A stake and stones in Crippen's field. 

. .A stake and stones in Whitter's held. 

= The new Albany road. 

= Old Abanv road. 
A pond. 

Northeast corner of Livingstone's manor 

= Road from Sheffield to Hudson. 
. .5th transit post. 
. .4th transit post. 

. .3d transit post. 
. .Cedar Mountain. 


. . Fork of Besheshpip [Bashbish. ] 

,2d transit post. Elk hill. 


, Finkay's close. 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 


Tine tree 
Stamp o 
Miles 1 



Var. 5 

.1st transit post at northwest angle: of the oblong. 
3' \V. 

A map of this survey, with prominent topographical features, uuiy he 
found in New York state, Engravers' and Surveyors' olliee, No. 1GS. 

Our next source of information is in the records of, and the 
remains of old saw mills and tanneries. The earliest sawmills 
were employed mostly in sawing pine, spruce and hemlock, 
soft hoards; while hard wood was prepared for building by the 
axe and broad-axe. Tanneries were built near a good supply of 
hemlock. As hemlock grew most abundantly in the ravines on 
the mountain sides and the borders and hillsides adjoining 
mountain streams, we find the tanneries in such places, inform- 
ing us of the former hemlock growth. 

In 182S, GO years ago there were in 
Adams, 10 sawmills and 3 tanneries. 
Alford, 3 sawmills and 1 tannery. 
Beeket, 5 sawmills and 1 tannery. 
Cheshire, 8 sawmills and 1 tannery. 
Clarksburg-, 2 .sawmills ; took bark to Adams, and mueh bark so'd to other 

places. i 

Dalton, 5 sawmills and 2 tanneries. 
Egremont, 5 sawmills. 
Florida, 3 sawmills. 

Great Barrington, 17 sawmills and 2 tanneries, (large ones.) 
Hancock, 3 sawmills and 1 tannery. 
Hinsdale, sawmills and 2 tanneries. 
Lanesboro, 4 sawmills. 
Lee, 9 sawmills and 4 tanneries. 
Lenox, 5 sawmills. (Town records,) — "March 1-1, 1707, Leather Scaler 

Mount Washington, 4 sawmills. 
New Ashford, 2 sawmills. 
New Marlboro, 8 sawmills. Tanneries very common, the town supply of 

leather being their entire dependence. 
Otis, 12 sawmills and 4 tanneries. 
Peru, 3 sawmills and 1 tannery. 
Pittsfield, 9 sawmills and 1 tannery. (?) 
Richmond, 3 sawmills and 3 tanneries, (large ones.) 
Sandislield, 8 sawmills and 6 tanneries, (some extensive.) 
Sheffield, 7 sawmills and 3 tanneries, (large.) 

32 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Savoy, G sawmills. 

Stocklnidgc, 8 sawmills and 2 tanneries. 

West Slockbridgc, 5 sawmills and 1 tannery. 

Tyringham, 7 sawmills. Several rake and shingle mills 

Washington, G sawmills. 

Williamstown, 5 sawmills. Four or five thousand dollars worth of leather 
produced per annum. 

Windsor, 8 sawmills, 1 tannery, 1 bark mill and 1 shingle mill. 

Total, 185 sawmills and 38 tanneries ; and much leather sold in towns with- 
out tanneries 

Let me now give a, general view of the dendrology of the 
county as it was when first settled. The mountain ranges on 
the western border had marked differences in their woods. The 
range on the west of the county was covered with oaks, beech 
sparingly, yellow birch, maple, chestnut, ash, butternut, walnut 
and some basswood. The eastern range had beech in abund- 
ance, maple, some birch, ironwood and spruce. The southern 
part of the county had extensive forests, with trees of large 
size, beech, birch, maple and basswood. Rev. S. B. Morley 
says he remembers seeing, sixty years ago, forests of white and 
yellow pine and chestnuts covering large areas. They are not 
there now. Nearly all the valleys of the comity had in them 
much pine and spruce, together with soft maple and black ash; 
the dryer places bearing elms; the cold swamps and ponds, as 
in Lanesboro' and Cheshire, where the reservoir is now, bore 
llacmetacs, as also in Becket around the swamps and Xegro- 
pond in Stockbridgc. Along all streams grew the alder, and 
in most of the mountain ravines, much hemlock; 

As pines grow best in disintegrated granite rocks, or in a soil 
of gneiss, mica slate and granite and a diluvium of sand formed 
from them, and as there was much of this in Berkshire, it had 
extensive pine forests. 

White oaks will grow in many soils, but prefer moderately 
high, moist and loamy soils in sheltered places and on the 
southern slope of hills. Chestnuts require a similar soil, grow- 
ing mostly on the eastern and southern side of mountain 
ranges. As chestnuts, when cut down, start anew from the 
stump, we know our trees of to-day stand on the graves of 
their progenitors. But in many places the oaks in our county 
cover ground' once occupied by pines. Squirrels have been 

The Early Botany of Berkshire, 33 

largely the cause of this. Somewhere in the vicinity of the 
oaks grew pines; under them, among their roots wen; dry and 
covered places in which the squirrels laid up their winter store 
of acorns; kept from moisture they did not germinate till the 
pines were cut down, when moisture and decay of the pine 
roots gave favorable opportunities to the acorns to enter upon 
their growing possessions. In quite a different way pines gain 
a foothold; and in like manner the birches. The seeds are 
borne by the winds on to cleared lands, and speedily taking 
root, grow and soon reconvert the land into a forest. Hence 
many young forests are not of the same kind of trees as were 
growing there in the early settlement of the county. Gener- 
ally, when no other species are near to scattar their seeds, oaks 
and pines are their own successors, but not as luxuriant as be- 
fore or as would be another kind. 

Let me give a more minute account beginning with Adams, 
now two towns. 

The early flora of Adams, including the valley and moun- 
tain ranges on east side, has 'offered wide scope for botanists, 
since the altitude of Greylock gives the town more than an or- 
dinary range of climate. Open spaces, caused by ledges and 
landslides; places protected from the winds on one side, and 
places exposed to the winds on the other side, give rootbold to 
various species of plants and shrubs not often found elsewhere 
in the county. 

Except at the summit and along the ravines and streams, the 
woods are mostly deciduous. Spruce at the to]) and hemlock 
along the base. Along the course of the Iloosic were spruce, 
hemlock, tamerack intergrown with soft maple, swamp ash, 
shrub birch, hornbeam, black alder and some nine kinds of 
willows. Back on the lower slopes of the mountain range were 
white, spice and yellow birch, red oak and shrub oak, elm, 
sugar and black maple. Still higher up the sides of the moun- 
tain range were beech, yellow Birch, ash and ironwood. "Where 
is now the village of North Adams, there was a forest of pine 
with white oaks among them; the only pine forest within a 
radius of some miles. The pines were quickly cut and used 
for lumber. Next, the sawmills were supplied with logs of 

o4 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

spruce and hemlock; the outer cuts, or slabs, some of which 
were used in making sheds and cabins to such an amount as to 
give the growing village the name of Slab city. The timber 
growing on the range of mountains, east of the lloosic river, 
was almost wholly without evergreens, save in the ravines and 
in the very moist places. 

Prof. Dewey searched the town for species and named several 
as having their habitat on and about Greylock. For instance, 
New England sedge; a variety of this he named C. Emmonsii, 
for Prof. Emmons, of Williamstown. C. Ilitchcockiana is 
found on the same mountain, named by Prof. Dewey to honor 
his friend Prof. Hitchcock of Amherst College. 

As the sedges had not then been very fully studied, Prof. 
Dewey had an ample field for examination; and the fact that 
sedges grow in moist places where ponds and rivers in their 
overflow prevent timber growth, and that open spaces on hill- 
sides and mountain tops, open to sunshine, make their roothold 
secure, made it possible for him to investigate them long before 
the axe had cleared the land fur their more extensive growth. 

The Aster Acuminatus, (white scaled aster) he found on the 
mountain ; probably it is a depauperate variety found on the 
White Mountains of New Hampshire. 

Abies Fraseri, (double balsam fir) is found on Greylock, 
called the Canada Balsam or the Balm of Gilead Fir, and, like 
the common balsam has blisters on the bark, from which the 
well known balsam is drawn. 

Many others are mentioned by him as found about Greylock, 
but as they are found elsewhere, we do not enumerate them. 

The town of Becket had its 20,000 acres covered mostly with 
hemlock and spruce, on a surface hilly, broken and rocky, and 
in a soil cold, hard and devoid, for the most part, of clay or 
sand. Hemlock predominated, and two tanneries used much 
of the bark, while six or eight sawmills transformed the logs 
into lumber. Next in order was the spruce, also furnishing 
lumber ami shingles for market. Since the Boston & Albany 
railroad commenced running, for many years four thousand 
cords of wood were annually sold to the company at the first 
what was left of the soft woods, after the sawmills had their 

The Early Botany of Berkshire. 35 

portion; later hard wood, till coal took the place of wood for 
railroad fuel. 

Maple, beech, birch, ash and alder around the ponds and 
along the small streams, with here and there a black cherry, 
constituted the bulk of the deciduous trees. 

A hemlock forest is not often its own successor when cleared 
by axe and fire. Sometimes where only the large trees are cut 
and the small ones left, a second growth, so-called, may be 
found. A spruce forest will also recover itself sometimes, if a 
few old trees are left on the windward side of a cleared field as 
seeds from the old trees will be carried some distance bv the 
wind and falling on the soil take root. But this second growth, 
which in a few places has been cut off, was not tall and large 
like the original forest. In cleared pasture lands spruce some- 
times obtains a foothold when all other trees fail, because the 
sheep will eat all the young growth of other trees. A walk 
through the sheep fed pastures of our mountain towns will 
suggest this fact to any thoughtful observer. 

The trees that have succeeded the evergreen in Becket and 
are now growing are maple and white birch, whose seeds are 
easily carried to a distance by the wind, much more so than the 
beechnuts, which, in some places, remain ungathered by squir- 
rels or swine, and, protected by the leaves that fall later, take 
root and extend to quite a beech forest. 

Adams and Becket, as above described, may serve, perhaps, 
as fair and average examples of the changes which more than a 
hundred years of civilization has wrought in the dendrology of 
Berkshire county. 

Prof. Albert Hopkins. 


albert riOFKiisrs. 

The two brothers, Mark and Albert Hopkins, spent their 
lives within the limits of Berkshire county. Born in Stock- 
bridge, a leading historical centre of the county, they removed 
in early manhood to WilliamstoWn, a second centre, whose his- 
tory they helped still further to unfold and enrich. 

Albert Hopkins was graduated at Williams College in 1826 
at the early age of nineteen. lie received the appointment of 
tutor in 1827; and after two years of service, the further ap- 
pointment of professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. 
In this position he spent his life. When he had been twelve 
years professor, he was married to Louisa Payson, daughter of 
Dr. Payson of Portland, a woman of unusual attainments. In 
the later portion of her life, she suffered extremely from ner- 
vous prostration. The tender and unwearied personal atten- 
tion which she received from Prof. Hopkins were very note- 

His son and only child was in college at the opening of the 
war of the rebellion. In his senior year he aided in recruiting 
the 1st Massachusetts Calvary, and went to the front with it as 
first lieutenant. The regiment was under the command of 
Gen. Sheridan. In a raid upon Ashland, in rear of the con- 
federate army, young Hopkins fell at the very opening of his 
career. Considerably later, his body was recovered and brought 
to Williamstown. Lieutenant Hopkins was active, cool and 
courageous, and helped, in the flush of youth, to make up that 
price, so great, yet not too great, by which this nation bought 
back its national life, having let it slrp in its eagerness for gain 
and remissness in duty. 

Albert Hopkins was diverse in physical tendencies from his 
brother, Mark. Mark was somewhat sluggish, while Albert 
was exceedingly active and full of vigor. The more eager 

i 40 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

^temperament gave way first in the race of life. Prof. [lopkina 

died in 1872 at the age of sixty-five. 

Prof. Hopkins, as an instructor, helped to give Williams that 
inclination toward natural history .which has characterized tin; 
college. lie organized natural history expeditions, and built 
the Astronomical Observatory. This observatory was for a 
long time supposed by the friends of Williams to he the first 
erected in this country. Further inquiry, however, has shown 
that North Carolina — an unexpected rival — was in the field 
somewhat earlier. His visit to Europe in search of apparatus 
and a better knowledge of methods, manifested, considering the 
time at which it occurred, unusual enterprise and interest in hu 
pursuits. x\s a teacher, Prof. Hopkins showed a good deal of 
repressed enthusiasm. Indeed, he often made the impression 
of a large reserve of feeling, rarely allowed expression. If a 
vent was given, there was sometimes a rather unexpected spirt 
of steam. lie compelled the student to recite from his own 
resources with very little suggestion. At times the superficial 
student, having delivered himself at length of his ideas on the 
subject, heard, with no small confusion, identically the same 
question asked of the pupil next called up. There was nothing 
in the professor's method to encourage invention; indeed, 
mathematics and physics, unlike metaphysics, are unfavorable 
to originality. Herein in part lay the secret of the difference 
between the two brothers as instructors and thinkers. One who 
is plodding along the highway of facts must take shorter and 
more sober steps than one who is mounting by ideas into the 
airy regions of speculation. The movement of Prof. Hopkins 
in speech, in the recitation-room and elsewhere, was ordinarily 
so deliberate and grave as to hide the heat and the enthusiasm 
of his very earnest mind. 

He made the most of meagre apparatus, and was much 
pleased with the exactitude of any result. I remember, in a 
lecture on Physics, he once had occasion to nil a tube whose 
lower end was immersed in a tub of brackish water. He asked 
a classmate to assist him. The student went at the task with 
much good-will, and, as a result, soon found his mouth filled 
with stagnant water, which he disgorged to the no small amuse- 

Professor Albert Hopkins. 


niont of the rest of us. Our satisfaction was not diminished by 
the quiet way in which the professor said to him, " You should 
have removed your mouth sooner." 

Prof. Hopkins was pre-eminently a religious man. Religion 
was his department in college life, and in it he had no compet- 
itor. A sustained, inner, spiritual enthusiasm belonged to him 
which many enjoyed, hut few, indeed, were able to fan. The 
words of the Psalmist were most descriptive of his life: While 
T was musing, the tire burned. For forty years and more, he 
was, in a very unusual way, the centre of the religious life of 
Williams College. Many in that period received from him the 
most efficient and controlling spiritual impulses of their lives; 
and many are ready to testify that when in search of a perfect 
and upright man, their thoughts most immediately revert to 
him. This real excellence of character, this glory of a Chris- 
tian manhood, this extended and benign influence, exerted with 
no peculiar vantage-ground of position, entitle him to our re- 
membrance, and make every tribute a blessing to him whose 
soul prompts him to render it. I am confident that the grad- 
uates of Williams College have, for many years, gladly united 
in all words of honest recognition, and find them only too few 
to express their obligations, or to measure their esteem. 

The events of his life were of an ordinary grade, and left no 
record behind them. Ilis character only was extraordinary. 
This made his years excellent; as the perfume of flowers, the 
days of spring. 

If we understand by faith the mind's hold of invisible things, 
the vigor with which it realizes them, the constancy with which 
it spreads them before its inner vision, the steadiness and clear- 
ness with which it shapes daily action under them and for them, 
then faith was the pre-eminent characteristic of Prof. Hopkins. 
His changes of religious life seemed to be but the modified ex- 
pression of one absoring conviction — expression suited to the 
variable sympathies and shifting external conditions which he 
found about him. 

When the revival came, it did not appear to be to him so 
much a revival, as the breathing of fresh hopes to an anxious 
and waiting spirit — the giving air to fires that had been sup- 

42 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

pressed, but not smothered, by the heavy, atmosphere 
about them. In 1832, lie established in college a noon prayer- 
meeting, of a half hour, held on four days of the week. This 
was maintained by him for about forty years. It was the most 
firm, persistent and steadily influential means of religions life 
that I have ever had oceasion to observe. Its eonception and 
exeeution were possible only to a spiritual temper and light that 
never burned dim. Upheld by mere strength of will, such 
meetings would have become wearisome, painful, and utterly 
unfruitful; as the offspring of life, they gave life. Any new 
accession of religious feeling was always heralded by an in- 
crease in numbers in the noon meeting, by clearer and more 
Hashing light in the deep-set eye of the professor, and more 
trumpet tones in his commanding voice. AVe felt at once that 
an earnest soul, the soul of a watchman, was being awakened 
and emboldened by the promise of a coming good. This stead- 
fastness of faith, this belief of the soul in its own, this holding 
on to the invisible ways of holiness, — traveling them in soli- 
tude, or with a joyful multitude, as he was able, — this was the 
first and great fact in the religious life and character of Prof. 

The doctrines held by Prof. Hopkins were those of the Con- 
gregational church; with no peculiar emphasis, so far as I am 
. aware, laid upon any one of them. He was liberal in spirit, 
not disposed to insist upon dogma, and, with quiet apprecia- 
tion, termed the flock which he himself had gathered, " The 
Church of Christ in the White Oaks." The creed and cove- 
nant of this church were prepared by him during his last sick- 
ness: "The following statements are believed to be both scrip- 
tural and of vital interest. As such, they are commended to 
the prayerful consideration of Christians of whatever name. 

1. A church is a body of believers, voluntarily associated in 
the name of Christ, to show forth his praise, and to increase their 
own power both of receiving and doing good. 

2. Love to Christ is the only essential prerequisite to an ac- 
ceptable public profession of faith in Him. 'If thou believest 
with all thine heart, thou mayest.' 

3. Baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 

Professor Albert Jlojrfcins. 43 

admits the believer to the Christian church, and entitles him to 
all its privileges and blessings. ' lie that believeth and is bap- 
tized, shall be saved.' 

4. Church fellowship may not be abridged by local churches 
within limits narrower than those sanctioned by Christ and the 
example of the apostles. 'Who art then that judgest another 
man's servant?' 

5. A regard to the above precepts would recommend great 
simplicity in our forms of admission to the church, and caution 
in the multiplication of technical and doctrinal tests. ' Destroy 
not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.' Under the im- 
pression of the above truths, the church in the White Oaks was 
formed, and its covenant adopted. The church was organized 
December 20, 18,68, and is now enjoying special tokens of the 
divine presence and favor. Should the form of the subjoined 
covenant be generally adopted, or some equivalent form, not 
much more or less inclusive, it is believed that sectarianism and 
denominational differences would gradually subside, and, in the 
end, quite disappear. ' One Lord, one faith, one baptism,' 
would not be an unmeaning ideal, but would express, as it did 
for a time, the happy experience of a church, one in name, one 
in aim, one in the experience of its inward life, and substan- 
tially one in its outward form." 

There came, from his unusually vivid realization of spiritual 
facts, an appreciable character, a distinct and peculiar glow, to 
his woi'ds, which separated him from other men. He was a re- 
vivalist, not of the demonstrative, but of the earnest and direct 
kind. The supernatural — meaning thereby the immediate, 
manifest and sudden intervention of the Spirit — had large pos- 
session of his thoughts and language. A tinge of belief — 
which hardly took the form of explicit statement, and was none 
the less effective for that reason — pertaining to the early second 
coming of Christ, would Hash over his speech, and light it up 
with a sudden intensity, as if a rent in the future had disclosed 
startling facts to him and he felt at liberty to announce that 
great things were at hand. He had the power, in a very un- 
usual degree, of imparting a tendency and temper to what he 
said quite beyond the statement contained in the words them- 

44 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

selves. Thus attention was never turned to this dogma, of the 
coining of Christ, as a probable or improbable belief; yet, by 
language which hardly amounted to an affirmation, an intense, 
vivid, portentous coloring was given to the relations we hold 
with the spiritual world about us and before us. A sudden 
and great work ceased to be strange and unexpected under his 
clear anticipation; and the mind fell easily under the influence 
and guidance of one who seemed to have such a spiritual affin- 
ity with invisible and forthcoming events. 

It was this preoccupation of the imagination, even more 
than the thoughts, with the things of the kingdom, which 
made him a revivalist, and capahle of creating impressions 
which it was difficult to translate into words, and not always 
easy to turn into rational, well-advised action. Indeed, the 
word, rational, bore no very frequent or very large burden in 
the religious experience or instruction of Prof. Hopkins. While 
utterly free from all superficial and fictitious practice, while 
thoroughly and forever permeated with one living impulse, he 
took but a secondary hold on natural law, and went straight 
and constantly to divine grace for his motives, means and sup- 

There is here room for diversity of experience and diversity 
of belief. The oversowing impression of the supernatural 
which belongs to the revivalist may be initiatory of the truest 
life, but hardly by abiding in its lirst character. It must calm 
itself down into distinct, common-place duties; it must take up 
the burdens laid upon us by natural law; it must find life and 
salvation everywhere, till, here as there and now as then, it 
shall live ami move and have its being — its daily being — in 
God. 1 can distinctly recall whirlwinds of impression, in my 
early religious life, which were not in this way husbanded, 
which did little more than till the air with dust. Forty days of 
delay and wonder were too much for the Israelites; they made 
a golden calf to consume time and give vent to feeling. Prof. 
Hopkins' supernaturalism was wholesome to his own mind, for 
ho abounded in plain, daily work; it was healthy to many other 
minds, for a like patient, fruitful spirit has been again and 
again called out by it; still, it gave little [dace to a type of 

Professor Albert Mopkim 


Christian character which will increase as the glory of God 
shines forth more and more through his creation. The king- 
dom is not to come so much by rejection as by incorporation ; 

not so much by creation as by redemption. 

Prof. Hopkins was always liberal, more than usually so, in 
the support of stated benevolences. Foreign missions were 
much to him, directly and indirectly. The student contemplat- 
ing this labor found peculiarly warm sympathy and counsel in 
him; the missionary returning from it, tarried with him, and 
was by him introduced to the college. But, like all positive 
Christians, he sought opportunities for more personal and direct 
effort— for the best expenditure of his own power in its living, ' 
lively form. This led him early in life to a wide range of mis- 
sionary labor in neighboring districts, and, later, to the estab- 
lishment and maintenance of a chapel in White Oaks. 

White Oaks is a peculiar region and was possessed of a pecu- 
liar people. It lies on the border of Vermont and Massachu- 
setts, and not far from the boundary of Kew York. It stretches 
along the slopes that hem in Broad Brook, a stream of ideal 
beauty, pouring down from the A 7 ermont mountains. It has a 
warm exposure to the south, but is cursed with as stony a soil 
as was ever termed arable. It early became a refuge for col- 
ored people escaping service in New York, and for others 
whose misfortunes called for a kindred kind of safety. Its in- 
habitants thus became a very motley group, with a decided 
tendency to moral and physical degradation. Efforts for its 
renovation accomplished but little. The people gave a curious 
rather than interested attendance at meetings held in the school 
house, and, after two or three gatherings, dissolved away in 
sheer weariness. The impressions made were exceedingly 
slight and fugitive. The inhabitants were not without relig- 
ions notions, but they were of a variable, divisive and absurd 
character. They had an idea that they were good judges of 
preaching, and that they must have the very best or none; and 
the very best differed, in its results with them, little from none. 
It became plain to the professor, that if this region was to be 
renovated, the effort must be more systematic and permanent. 
This led him to build in 1 8(5(1 a chapel, and to establish a 

4C> Berkshire Historical anil Scientific Society. 

church with stated services. lie preached the dedicatory ser- 
mon from the text: For the Lord will comfort Zion; lie will 
comfort all her waste places, and lie will make her wilderness 
like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. The 
success of this project affords an excellent illustration of the 
power stored up in one life, which a system of general benevo- 
lence often overlooks. The nearer one's work is to him, the 
more efficient and blessed is it. If remote, organized missionry 
labors are to the church a substitute for private, direct effort, 
they may easily be an injury to it. Yet, this is hardly more 
than a form of admonition. There is no such tendency in mis- 
sionary labor to divert attention. He who is earnest in giving - 
will be earnest in doing; and the doing is his most immediate 
stewardship. Prof. Hopkins was greatly interested in efforts 
to be made for the establishment of a direct mission in South 
America. This form of private eifort has especially prospered 
in Germany, and acquires an apostolic character which is too 
liable to be lost in a great organization. Frederick Hicks, 
under the encouragement and aid of Prof. Hopkins, spent 
some years in Panama and the neighboring region in an eifort 
to plant such a mission; but his health early failed him, and 
the results were not permanent. 

Prof. Hopkins, by his acknowledged zeal and power, became 
the centre of revival influences in the town as well as in the col- 
lege. He came to the front as a matter of course, whenever 
there was an earnest, working mood. Yet, this leadership was 
tacit, quiet, without friction or observation- It fell to him be- 
cause it was in and of him; and no one felt in a religious meet- 
ing that he knew the finality,— what was to be hoped — -till 
Prof. Hopkins had spoken-. 

In exhortation and preaching, his chief characteristic wasposi- 
tiveness of feeling, sustained by clear realization and vivid im- 
agination. This produced sudden outbursts of assertion that at 
once swept away all indifference and opposition. For spas- 
modic power, that shot out instantly from the depths of con- 
viction, he was unsurpassed by any whom I have ever known. 
It was not sustained argument, it was not proportionate, pre- 
pared eloquence; it was a sudden leap of the soul toward truth, 

Professor Albert IIophmB, 47 

startling and awakening all who beheld it, that made him a 
prophet from another world. Prof. Hopkins was, at one time, 
in the habit of holding a Thursday evening lecture or exposi- 
tion in his study. His choice of books often disclosed his pre- 
dominant, tendencies. Among these was Revelation, [ts bold 
imagery, its indefinite suggestiveness, the free range it oilers to 
the purely religious and supernatural impulse, seem all to have 
drawn him toward it, It is full of that glowing prophetic ele- 
ment he delighted in, that strong, undefined influence with 
which the spiritual world, in its disclosure, overshadows the 
mind. lie came in his exposition to the fourteenth chapter, 
in which a new song is spoken of, belonging to the redeemed . 
of the earth, and which cannot be sung by others. This fact 
laid instant hold of his heart, He raised his voice, lifted his 
hand, and put tlie inquiry in the most startling way: "And 
lohy couldn't they sing that song?" Waiting for a moment for 
the difficulties of the question to get possession of our minds, 
he dropped his hand and lowered his voice in solemn, final af- 
firmation, making answer: "Because they couldn't." By the 
mere force of his own feeling he carried overall answer border- 
ing on the ridiculous into the sublime. No reason could have 
so convinced us of the folly of any unredeemed spirit meddling 
with that song. A\ r e felt at once, as the speaker felt, that it 
was and could be only the outgush of a purified, regenerated 
soul. Prof. Hopkins did not argue much with men; but swept 
them on by the visions of his spirit and his tide of conviction. 

The Old Testament, and Old Testament characters, had 
strong possession of his mind. He loved the concrete more 
than the abstract; and these early events ami persons — the 
scripture narrative turning so exclusively on the religious im- 
pulse—gave free play to his sentiment and imagination. Shortly 
before his death he gave a protracted series of evening dis- 
courses on the history ot David, wonderful for their life-like 
effects. He seemed to move in those remote, dark regions, in 
reference to which our impressions are often made only the 
more vague and unreal by early and constant familiarity, as one 
who held a powerful Light, casting its concentrate beam before 
him. He had only to direct it to this and that person, and in- 

•fS Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society, 

stantly they rose out of the shadow, the lineaments and passions 
of life full upon them. Doeg, Joab, Asabel, Abuer, David 
himself, took new possession of the mind, calling forth fresh 
feelings of like or dislike. There wore no scholarly deduction.-, 
no learned exegesis, hut a quick seeing and lively sympathy, by 
which we felt and saw as for the first time. r l ne personifying 
power by which the shadowy becomes real and substantial, — a 
new adjustment of lenses, easting a bold, clear image on the 
canvas, — belonged in a high degree to Prof. Hopkins. David 
was an intimate friend of his, — one with whom he had gone 
through many a hard struggle, — and so he became to us, as long 
as he spoke of him. There was something in the personal ap- 
pearance of Prof. Hopkins, especially later in life, which served 
to heighten this impression. lie had a prophet's face and 
bearing, with a sharp, overshadowed eye, bold features, inclined 
in expression to strength and serenity, and a flowing white 
beard. Tall, erect and firmly knit,— in my college days there 
were fabulous stories in circulation among us of his physical 
strength — he seemed no inferior image of Elijah, able, like 
him, to rebuke kings, or gird himself and run before their 
swiftest chariots. 

The imaginative element in Prof. Hopkins was of a dramatic 
cast; it took hold on action and terse speech. It was never ef- 
feminate or merely pictorial* His characters were in earnest, 
and came before us in their striking attitudes. Connected with 
this, there was a peculiar relish for proper names. The hard 
words of the Old Testament seemed to have a certain flavor in 
his mouth, and he delighted to give them an emphatic utter- 
ance, as if he marshalled thereby so many men and places be- 
fore us. This seems due to an easy power of personification by 
which a name, partly through direct association, .still more by 
an acquired, representative power, comes to stand for a person, 
and readily restores the familiar image. Thus Dickens is ever 
playing in fancy with his proper names, and they had for him, 
and soon come to have for the reader, a symbolic force. The 
richness of a proper name to us, at least of one on which either 
the historic or creative imagination has had any opportunity to 
work, is often a test of our powers of realization. 

Professor Albert Hopkins. 49 

Prof. Hopkins' force sprang so purely from within, fchat his 

delivery was often sluggish when the inner vision was not he- 
fore him. Kis composition was always concise, and his words 
chosen with nnusnal skill, but he proceeded in speaking very 
slowly, till the prophetic gift came upon him. [lis discour- 
ses, therefore, through well composed, were very unequal in 
their practical effects. He did not seem to address himself 
to audiences and external circumstances. He was not the 
orator of occasions and large assemblies, unless the topic was 
surcharged with spiritual power. Though he possessed thor- 
oughly good intellectual powers, he owed more to his spiritual 
endowments than to these. We should hardly have dwelt 
long on the form of the cloud, had it not been suffused with 
so heavenly a light. 

Perfect as he was in Christian character, he was not less com- 
plete, or rather, he was therefore complete, in manly qualities. 
Few men command the same universal respect and regard. His 
integrity was affirmed with an oath in the lowest circles. No- 
body was willing to acknowledge that he had dropped so far as 
to distrust Prof. Hopkins. It became a passion to praise him. 
He owed this regard of the poor to his constant regard for 
them. He was Christian and democratic, if democratic is writ- 
ten without a capital, by his settled instincts and cherished pur- 
poses. There was neither cold seclusion nor diffidence in his 
intercourse with any. He passed from one grade of society to 
another with the utmost freedom. With quiet composure, as a 
matter of course, he conversed with the most intelligent, or led 
the least intelligent. He was not embarrassed by any; neither 
did he embarrass any. His dignity was always present, and 
never asserted itself. He thought not of himself, but only, in 
the simplest most direct way, of the work before him. Of a 
truly popular, yet always elevating influence, no better example 
has ever been presented to me. He owed this quiet, constant 
and universal control to several causes. 

In the first place, his influence and labor were primarily and 
consistently Christian. Whatever may be thought of the 
human heart, it soon gives way to pure Christian love — more 
quickly than to any other aggressive agent. Such love pro- 

5() Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

yokes less passion, and calls forth more affection than any other 
thoroughly militant sentiment. With Prof. Hopkins this lead- 
ing purpose enclosed all others; and those who warred with 
him must war with the tenderness and constancy of a Christian 
life. No man did it long. lie was also liberal. The poor re- 
ceived much sympathy and aid from him. lie gave without 
instituting a too close inquiry into the past history which made 
giving necessary. lie was thus able to do more for the re- 
demption of a life to whose immediate demands he had not lent 
a deaf ear. Plain in dress, simple in his manner of living, and 
with active, outdoor habits, there was very little, either in his 
appearance or action, to estrange him from any class of citizens. 
lie sympathized with the social, reformatory spirit, in many of 
its bearings warmly so; yet he did not give special effort to any 
of {\\a>,(i secondary agencies, lie seemed rather to feel that he 
had found his labor elsewhere, and must cling closely to the 
chief interests of the kingdom. This one line of action, as- 
sumed under his own conviction, met ever diminishing opposi- 
tion ; the asperity begotten of new views and special reforms 
did not attach to him. His efforts, in kind, commanded gen- 
eral approval, and, in degree, general admiration. In manners 
he held an even and nice balance. Me was hardly reserved ; 
yet there was never in word or action any abandon — he did not 
commit himself to men. However gay and pleasant the society 
in which he was moving, his spirits were only enlivened, and 
not made giddy. Few, indeed, have had so little occasion to 
regret words, that, evading the oversight of reason, had escaped 
them unawares, lie always preserved the same earnest, quiet, 
appreciative temper, that without checking hilarity was not it- 
self hilarious. \la would at this point have fallen off a little 
from perfect lovability and good fellowship, had it not been for 
some compensating and exceedingly graceful endowments. 
There was frequently a sly humor in his words, which at once 
assured you of his thorough relish of innocent mirth, and set you 
at rest on that point. His nature was also enriched by a decided 
poetic vein and asthetic culture. The college grounds owed 
most of their adornments to him, and his own home became a 
nook of secluded beauty, lie instituted an Alpine club, more 

Professor Albert Hopkins. 51 

especially for young women, and delighted to traverse with it 
the mountains, seek out their picturesque points, and give their 
leading summits names of historic or poetic interest. It was a 
pleasure to him to own some of the rough soil of White Oaks, 
amuse his thoughts with its possible development, and give the 
salient features designations quite in anticipation of results. 
I lis poetic fancies and dreams brought but little embarrassment 
to his common-place labors, and only flashed out of him now 
and then, in a few suggestive words, for the delight of those to 
whom he entrusted these visions. So we gather violets in the 
nooks of a field just broken for grain. An imaginative senti- 
ment danced gaily in and out among his sober thoughts, as a 
sombre day is cheered and lightened by streaks of sunshine. 
This was in some respects one of the best victories of his faith; 
that religion, though it might become terribly earnest with 
him, united itself always to a cheerful, enjoyable life. His 
"Steep Acres" — the charity of a name hiding those flinty, pre- 
cipitous flanks he owned in White Oaks — were made merry 
from time to time by a band at work in his missionary potato 
fleld; or lathing a new tenement; or, by his Sunday School 
teachers, gathered for a "sugar-off." 

Rarely has Christian character been so purely, harmoniously 
and beautifully knit together; rarely has it been able so directly 
and persuasively and convincingly to commend itself to every 
beholder. The problem of Christian life found in Prof. Hop- 
kins a full and happy solution. He was more remarkable for 
what he was, than for anything which he said or did. He was 
very little indebted to external circumstances for his influence. 
A thousand lives of equal opportunity and exterior interest are 
lapsing, almost fruitless, about us. One controlling Christian 
impulse pushed forward, and held in check, all his powers ; and 
the symmetry and beauty and strength of character became, ob- 
viously to all, the fruit of this interior spiritual life, lie thus 
was one through whom Christ brings life and immortality to 
light; one through whom he speaks to the world, and offers it 
the most immediate guidance, the brightest, most consolatory 
hopes. It is in looking with clear vision on such a character 
that we are able to see redemption possible — redemption from 

52 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

the perplexities, futilities, wretched failures, wretched successes, 

of ordinary living. Annoyed by no petty ambitions, distressed 
by no transient discouragements, he enclosed his own life in the 
spiritual life of the world, and waited in quiet hopefulness on 
the kingdom of his Heavenly Father. Men, some brilliant in 
action, some daring in thought, but with blood full of the fret- 
ful fever of the world, may well seek correction, repose, en- 
couragement under the shadow of this calm, serene spirit. The 
flow of his daily action, like quiet, clear waters, was good, and 
carried good wherever it went ; beauty was in it, and it minis- 
tered to the beauty and life of the world. The peace of his 
spirit was not apathy ; it was victory. Strong passions nestled 
in him, and great trials overtook him, — as the loss of his only 
child, Lieutenant Hopkins, in the war of the rebellion, — but 
the even tenor of his action was never disturbed by them. In 
an intimacy of many years, I recall but one instance in which I 
thought an unjust sentiment found expression in him, and, as 
my own feelings were then decidedly adverse to the conclusion 
reached, I may have partially misjudged him. 

There is nothing in human history more profoundly interest- 
ing than these victories of love, this rendering into life of the 
precepts of life. When God sends an apostle, we crave the 
wisdom to see him, the power to be inspired by him. How 
large a chapter in Grecian history is illumed by Socrates; in 
Roman history, by Marcus Aurelius. Though Christianity has 
made the philosophy of living far more familiar to us, no place 
nor time can well spare one of its clear lights. Such a light to 
many college generations was Prof. Albert Hopkins. Wher- 
ever else the alumni of Williams College may wander in search 
of great men, their eyes will turn lovingly to him as their best 
type of Christian manhood. 

sketches of the early 
Ministers of Windsor 




The first minister of Windsor, then Gageboro', in honor of 
Gov. Gage, and till 1778, when the name was changed by the 
General Court upon the petition of the people, was David 
Avery. He was a native of that part of Norwich, Conn, now 
forming the town of Franklin. Re was of Scotch descent and 
respectably connected, being a cousin of the Rev. Dr. E. D. 
Griffin. Re was converted at the age of twenty, under the 
preaching of Whitfield; was graduated at Yale College in 
1769; studied theology with Rev. Dr. Wheelock, president of 
Dartmouth College, with whom he had fitted for college, and 
was ordained 20th of August, 1771, as missionary to the Oneida 
Indians, having for his colleague the Rev. Samuel K.irkland. lie 
was soon disabled, however, by a fall upon the ice, returned to 
New England and was settled over a church of ten members at 
Gageboro', March 25, 1773, — a little more than a year after the 
incorporation of the town. Here he remained, to the great 
satisfaction of the people, until the war of the revolution broke 
out. Ten members were added to the church during his stay. 
When the tidings of the Lexington fight reached Gageboro 1 
the inhabitants came together, chose Mr. Avery their captain, 
and to the number of twenty, set out fur Northampton, on Sat- 
urday, the third day after the fight. There they kept the Sab- 
bath and attended church, Mr. Avery preaching in the after- 
noon from Neb. 4:14. They reached Cambridge the next Sat- 
urday, and on Sunday Dr. Langdon, president of Harvard Col- 
lege, preached to the army in the morning on a stage erected in 
the college area and Mr. Avery repeated his war sermon in the 
afternoon. He received a commission as chaplain in the regu- 
lar army, dated April 18, 177G, and served till March, 1780 — 


56 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

nearly through the war, participating in its most trying scenes 
and volunteering at times to stand upon guard or to take a 
musket and join in the fight. lie was settled at Bennington, * 

Vt, May 3, J 780, and dismissed dune 17, 1783; was settled | 

again at Wrentham May 25, 1780, and dismissed after much 
difficulty and many councils April 21, 171*4. lie continued to 
preach to a congregation at North Wrentham till 17 ( .)7, where a 
church was formed in 1795. lie removed to Mansfield, Conn., 
and lived upon a farm belonging to his wife; preaching in va- 
cant churches and performing missionary labors under the di- 
rection of the Massachusetts Domestic Missionary Society, 
which issued its first commission to him. lie married in 1772, 
Miss Hannah Chaplin, daughter of Dea. l>enjamin Chaplin of 
Mansfield, by whom he had three daughters and one sun. He 
gathered a new church and society in a part of Mansfield, now 
Chaplin and preached to them for several years. While on a 
visit to his youngest daughter in Virginia, in 1SJL7, he received 
and accepted a unanimous call to settle at Middletown in that 
state, but was taken sick with typhus fever and died upon the 
week of his intended installation, Feb. 1<k 1818, in his 72d 

Mr. Avery was a tall, portly man of commanding presence 
and dignified manners, with copious language, a clear sonorous 
voice and distinct articulation, so that all he said could be heard 
by every soldier in a brigade, lie preached extempore from 
short notes. He wrote a bold, round, very legible hand and 
signed himself David Avery, Y. D. M., minister of the word 
of Cod. He showed much warmth of religious feeling and un- 
common activity in his labors, but was somewhat opinionative, 
prone to get into difficulty with his parishioners upon points of 
doctrine. Four of his sermons were printed — a Thanksgiving 
discourse preached before the army, two funeral discouses and 
a sermon upon holding the tongue. 


Elislia Fish, Jr. was the second minister of Windsor. He 
was the son of Rev. Elisha Fish of Upton, and a graduate of 
Harvard College in the class of 1770. He studied theology 
with his father, and was settled at Windsor, June 16, 17S5. On 

Early Ministers of Windsor. 57 

that occasion Dr. Emmons of Franklin, and Mr. Fish, father of 
the candidate, rode on horseback across the state to take part in 
^ i the services. Dr. Emmons preached the ordination sermon, 

and Mr. Fish was scribe of the council. He entered upon the 
town book a full record of the proceedings in an elegant chi- 
rograph) 7 , with characters well formed, but so microscopic in 
size as almost to defy perusal by the unassisted eye. During 
the eight years which Lad elapsed since the dismission of Mr. 
Avery there had been considerable religious interest in the 
town and 29 members had been added to t\m church. Four- 
teen were added during Mr. Fish's ministry. The church was 
sound in doctrine and united in their pastor, but the congregation 
became disaffected; it is said through the prevalence of antino- 
mian sentiments among them, and Mr. Fish's position became 
so precarious and painful that he resigned the pastorate. lie 
was dismissed July 5, 1792, and settled in Gilsum, N. II., as 
the first pastor of the church, May 29, 1794, where he con- 
tinued till his death, March 28, 1807, in his 51st year. While 
in Windsor he received an injury in his right ankle which re- 
sulted in the loss of the limb and the general impairment of his 
health. Mr. Fish was a man of easy manners and of a kind, 
frank, affable disposition, but loyal to duty and faithful to de- 
clare to his hearers the whole truth, however unpalatable. He 
married Miss Abigail Snell, daughter of Ebenezer Snell Esq.j 
of Cummington, and aunt of William Cullen Bryant. 


Gordon Dorrance was the third minister of Windsor. His 
family is of French origin. He was the son of Samuel and Re- 
becca (Gordon) Dorrance of Sterling, Conn., born Aug. 1, 
17G5. He was graduated at Dartmouth College in 17SG, and 
studied divinity with Dr. Levi Hart of Preston, Conn., and Dr. 
Samuel Spring of Newburyport. He was ordained at Wind- 
sor, July 1, 1795, Rev. Dr. West of Stockbridge, preaching the 
sermon. He had a long and prosperous pastorate of forty 
years. He occupied the ministerial land and built a commod- 
ious parsonage with spacious out-buildings, where he exercised 
an unwearied hospitality toward his brethren in the ministry 
and others, who in those days, were in the habit of making the 

58 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

minister's house their temporary home. He married Hannah, 

daughter of Daniel Morgan of Griswold, Conn., Jan. 22, 17 ( JD, 
hnt she died shortly after giving birth to a son, the late Gardi- 
ner Dorrance M. D. (W. C. 1820.) It was a heavy blow that 
smote him thus early, but he bowed himself to the stroke and 
thereafter walked alone, cherishing the memory of his beloved 
consort. A sister became his housekeeper, and an unmarried 
brother also lived with him and helped to carry on the farm. The 
town was at the height of its development during his pastorate 
and the residence of many good families who attended church 
regularly, and Mr. Dorrance preached to a large and attentive 
congregation. He was of a warm, emotional nature, and had 
an affectionate style of address. Ilis cheeks were often wet 
with tears in the pulpit, especially in his tender pleadings with 
the Father of mercies. He sympathized with all approved 
evangelical movements, and early introduced the Sabbath 
school, the temperance reformation and the monthly Concert of 
Prayer for missions. He received repeated tokens of the Di- 
vine favor in his work, and two hundred and forty-nine mem- 
bers were added to the church. During the latter part of his 
ministry the emigration fever set in and carried off a part of 
the community to the Genesee and Black river country, and 
even so far west as to Ohio; a Baptist church was formed, 
which withdrew a fraction from his congregation, and some of 
the prominent ones among his own people became infected 
with the itch for "new measures." The result was that the 
faithful, conservative pastor asked and received a dismission in 
1834. He removed to Sunderland, and preached there and in 
the vicinity some five years. Being deprived of a housekeeper 
by the marriage of his sister, he married again in 1835, uniting 
himself to Olive, the widow 7 of Col. Moses Tyler, of Griswold, 
Conn. He finally removed to Attica, JN\ Y., and spent his last 
years in the family of his son, where he died May 18, 1840, in 
his 81st year. 

Mr. Dorrance was a large man, with prominent features and 
erect bearing, very precise in his language, dress and deport- 
meTit, and studiously polite to all, even the young children of 
his flock, whom he never passed without a kindly recognition. 
He was a gentleman of the old school. 

Early Ministers of Windsor. 59 


Mr. Dorranee's successor in the Windsor pulpit was Philetus 
Clark, who was born at Southampton, April 26, 1794, fitted for 
college with his pastor, Bev. Vinson Gould, and entered at 
Williams, but removed to Middlebury and was graduated in 
the class of 1818. Pie studied theology with Bev. Joel T. 
Benedict of Chatham, N. Y., and llev. Timothy M. Cooley of 
Granville. He was ordained and installed pastor of the church 
in Townshend, Vt., Dec. 29, 1821, and dismissed July G, 1824. 
He was settled in Londonderry in 1827, and dismissed in 1832; 
was acting pastor at Clarendon, Vt., and South Granville, N # 
Y., and was installed over the church in Windsor Sept. 30/ 
1S35, where belabored nearly eight years, being dismissed May 
23, 1843. In many respects he presented quite a contrast to 
his predecessor. He was a short man, of slender proportions, 
quick movement, and with a restless, bright, gray eye. He was 
of a sociable turn and ready wit, fond of a joke and a laugh, 
placing himself on a level with those about him, and somewhat 
lacking in dignity. But he was an earnest worker, a warm 
evangelical preacher and ardent friend of temperance, and 
every good cause. He was a keen controversialist, and Bap- 
tists, Arminians and those of the opposite party in politics felt 
his sharp thrusts more than they cared to own. He never ap- 
peared to better advantage than in his large Bible class, where 
his quick wit and ready command of scripture had ample room 
to display themselves. His ministry fell on an evil time, when 
the town was dwindling in population and character, and the 
adversaries were many. He removed from Windsor to Claren- 
don, Vt., where he resided seven years, supplying destitute 
churches in the vicinity. In 1850 he removed to West Towns- 
hend, Vt., where he organized a church and labored seven 
years. He was acting pastor of the church at Sharon, Vt,, 
eleven years; and then supplied for a year or two at Wards- 
boro' until his home was broken up by the death of his wife, 
when he went to reside with his married daughters at Mem- 
phis, Tenn., where he died, Feb. 5, 1875, aged SO years and 9 
months. He was twice married, in 1825 to Miss Irene Brown 
of Townshend, Vt., who died in 1829, leaving two children ; 
and in 1830, to Miss Delilah Hall of Clarendon, Vt., who died 
in 1870, leaving also two children. 

Early Settlements in 



vof s fpp4i7 ^ ie town of Cheshire was incorporated on the 14th of 

m March, 1793. The title of the Act indicates that its territory 

was made up of parts of the towns of Laneshorough, Windsor, 

Adams and of the District of New Ashford, the inhabitants of 

iSd p^iSi"* 1 ^° w Ashford not having been incorporated as a town until 

May 1, 1S36. 

On the 6th of February, 1798, so much of the farm of Jacob 
Mass sp . l Cole of New Ashford, as lay in that district was, "-together 

Vol. II, p. 191. # _ . . 

with the said Jacob and his personal estate, set off from the 
said district, and annexed to the town of Cheshire * , * * 
there to do duty and receive privileges." This annexation ad- 
ded three more to the twenty corners made by its boundary 
lines, and established its pre-eminence in this respect over all 
the towns in the commonwealth on a so much firmer footing. 
Whether this predilection for corners came from the same 
cause which has made the population and business and social 
life of the place, desert its once thickly settled hill-tops, and 
congregate in that locality of the town known as Cheshire Cor- 
ners, is a question which may at some future day be settled by 
the Scientific branch of our Association. But it is reasonably 
certain that the bounds given in the act of incorporation, were 
not the result of an attempt to follow physical boundaries, but 
to bring into a community people of like tastes and religious 
feelings so far as possible. The attempt seems to have been re- 
markably sucsessful, and the people of Cheshire to have been 
so remarkably unanimous, even in political sentiment, as to 
make current the familiar tradition that when the the first lone 
opposition ballot was put in the box, by a citizen opposed in 
politics to all his neighbors, it was thrown out by the selectmen 
as having evidently been cast by mistake. 

L 04- Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

^ It is among the earlier settlers of this territory that we must 
look for the leaven which was powerful enough to work- 
throughout a township, creating the town in the first instance, 
and continuing its power until substantially all its citizens seem 
to have been united in sentiment, and vigorous and earnest in 
its expression. 

These earlier settlers came more largely, than the settlers of 
any other considerable portion of Berkshire, from the colony 
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. They were de- 
scendants, some of them, of the very men who were the first to 
follow Roger Williams to Rhode Island, and generally they 
were men who had inherited and imbibed the spirit of her free 
institutions, and who were educated in the religious beliefs pre- 
valent in that colony, rather than in the orthodoxy of the Mas- 
sachusetts colony. 

The present paper* will not be able to give the story of their 
emigration from Rhode Island, and their settlement in Berk- 
shire in any connected form, or with a claim to that accuracy, 
which ought to be attained in the documents prepared for an 
Historical Society. At most, it will only gather the names and 
some facts in the lives of some of these early settlers, and call 
your attention to a village once flourishing and beautiful, but 
which has now utterly disappeared. 

A Berkshire hilltop once crowned with a church, and hill- 
sides once dotted with farm houses, and tenanted with a vig- 
orous and intelligent and thriving population, but from which 
all the buildings have disappeared, and whose only tenants now, 
are the inmates of those narrow houses on which no signs of "to 
let" or "for sale" are exhibited; and in another portion of 
Cheshire to later, but still early settlers, who followed the first 
from Rhode Island, and took up their abode on that part of the 
town which is included in or near to the present village of Chesh- 
ire, and was then within the limits of Lanesborough. 

The story of the men who made the New Providence Pur- 
chase, and, in 1707, removed their families and goods from 
Rhode Island to the splendid eminence, which they christened 
New Providence Hill, in affectionate remembrance of the hill 
in Providence, and there essayed to found, and did found, a 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. ' 65 

new community, is worthy to be told. We will try to name 
some of the actors in it, and to open the field for further re- 

The difficulty of making snch investigations as to the early 

settlement of" many parts of the county at once illustrates the 
need of thorough and systematic work by this Society in the 
discovery and preservation of the early records, and points out 
certain channels into which such work may be profitably di- 
rected. Could a collection be made of the records and maps 
relating to the early proprietaries of the county it would be ex- 
ceedingly valuable and interesting. It would simplify and ex- 
pediate such investigations as the present more than any other 
work which the society could so easily hope to accomplish, and 
could be participated in by all the members of the society, as 
well as by those who are assigned to prepare papers for its 
quarterly meetings. 

The portion of Cheshire, to which we have already referred 
by its more ancient name of New Providence Purchase, and 
the crown of which was named by its early settlers, New Provi- 
dence Hill, is now known as Stafford's hill — a name derived 
from the Col. Joab Stafford, who was one of the prime movers 
in the emigration from Rhode Island to Berkshire, and one of 
the most prominent men in the settlement which they estab- 

It appears certain that the territory embraced in the purchase 
was sold by the province in 1702, and was originally included 
in the township known as No. 6, the larger portion of which is 
now in the town of Savoy. 

An examination of the province records in the office of the 
Secretary of the Commonwealth at Boston, disclose a full state- 
ment of the action of the General Assembly and Council in or- 
dering and making the sale of several townships of province 
land in the western part of the province in 1702, most of them 
in Berkshire, which sale included those parts of Cheshire which 
were formed from Windsor and Adams. That part, which was 
formerly Lanesborough, had been sold at an earlier date, and 
was then known as New Framingham. The record of these 
sales, which included the old town of Adams, then known as 

66 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

East Iloosuck, and the territory now included in Hinsdale, 
Peru, Windsor and Savoy, and other towns is as follows : 


jen. court jU a Great and General Court, or Assembly, for his Maies- 
ty's Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England, and held 
at Boston, on Wednesday, the 27th day of May, 1701, and con- 
tinued by sundry prorogations to Wednesday, the 13th day of 
January following, and then met, being the third session of the 
said Court. 

Wednesday, | 

February 17, 17G2. [ 

In the House of Representatives : Voted — That the Townships called East 
Iloosuck, sometime since laid out by order of the General Court, of the con- 
tents of six miles square, exclusive of grants already laid out, and also two 
more Townships to contain the quantity of six miles square, each lying be- 
tween Ashuelot Equivalent, so-called, and the new Township called New 
Ilingham ; one to begin at the northeast corner of said Ashuelot Equivalent, 
and from thence on the easterly line of said Equivalent, southerly six miles, 
and from thence to extend east twenty degrees, south so far as to contain six 
miles square, exclusive of grants already laid out. And the other to bound 
westerly on the easterly line of the last proposed Township, to square off six 
miles from said given line. Also a Township lying east of New Framing- 
ham, to begin at the northeast corner of said New Framingham, thence 
southerly in the line of said Township, until it meet with the line of the 
Ashuelot Equivalent, so-called ; thence in the line of said Equivalent, to the 
northeast corner thereof, thence east twenty degrees, south so far as to make 
the contents of six miles square. Also one other Township, to join west on 
the east line of the said last mentioned Township, and to extend east twenty 
degrees, south to square oil' at right angles to make the contents of six miles 
square. Also one other Township, to begin at New Framingham northeast 
corner, thence northerly to East Hoosnck to south line, nine hundred and 
fifty rods west of said East Iloosuck southeast corner, thence easterly to the 
southeast corner of said East Iloosuck ; thence northerly on the east line of 
said East Iloosuck three miles, one hundred and seventy rods, thence to ex- 
tend east twenty degrees, south so far as to make the contents of six miles 
square. Also another Township, to adjoin west on the east line of the last 
mentioned Township, from thence to square off at right angles so as to make 
the contents of six miles square. Also another Township, to begin at the 
southeast corner of Pittsfield, thence to run south so far as the north line of 
Stockbridge, from thence on a straight line to Stockbridge northeast corner, 
thence to extend westerly on Stockbridge line, so far as to make the contents 
of six miles square, exclusive of the grants already laid out. Also a Town- 
ship lying west of Southampton, contains about twenty-four thousand and 
seven hundred acres, exclusive of grants, bounds north on New Hingham, 



Early Settlements in CJiesldre. 07 

and to run from the southwest corner of said New Hingham to the northeast 
corner of number Four, thence on the line of said number Four to the south- 
east corner of said number Four, and from thence, the same course to Blan- 
ford line, then to bound south on Blanford and Wcstfield, and east on 
Southampton, said Townships to be sold to the highest bidder at a public 
vendue in Boston, b} r a committee of this Court, on the second Wednesday 
of the next May session, and that public notice, of such intended sale, be in- 
serted in the meantime in all the Boston newspapers, and that said Town- 
ships be set up at eight hundred pounds lawful money each. 

And those persons who shall or may purchase the same, complying with 
and performing the following conditions, the same to be granted and con- 
firmed to them, viz : That there be reserved to the first settled minister one- 
sixty-third part of each of said Townships ; and one-sixty-third part of each 
of said Townships for the use of the ministry ; and the like quantity for the 
use of and support of a school in each of said Townships forever. That, 
within the space of five years from the time of sale, there be sixt} r settlers 
residing in each Township, who shall each have a dwelling house of the fol- 
lowing dimensions, viz : twenty-four feet long, eighteen feet wide and seven 
feet stud, and have seven acres of land well cleared and fenced, and brought 
to English grass or plowed ; and, also, settle a learned Protestant minister of 
the Gospel in each of said Townships, within the term aforesaid. Also, 
another tract of land, bound -north on the Province line, east on land belong- 
ing to Messieurs Green and Walker and Bulfinch, south partly on Charle- 
rnont, to extend west to make the contents of ten thousand acres, to be sold 
also at the time aforesaid, to the highest bidder, and set up at three hundred 
pounds ; and the persons, who shall purchase the same, complying with the 
following conditions, viz : That within the space of five years there will be 
residing on said land twenty-five inhabitants, each to have a dwelling house 
of the dimensions above mentioned, and each, seven acres of land well 
cleared and fenced. And, that upon the conditions aforesaid, being truly 
fulfilled by such purchase or purchasers, the said lands be granted and con- 
firmed to him or them or their assigns and not otherwise. 
. Voted— That Col. Partridge and Mr. Tyler, with such as the honorable 
Board shall join, be a committee to make sale of the Townships and tract of 
land above mentioned ; and, that the purchaser or purchasers of each of said 
Townships shall pay twenty pounds earnest money ; and the purchaser of 
said ten thousand acres shall pay ten pounds earnest money, and the remain- 
ing sums the said lands shall be struck oil at, the purchasers shall give bond 
to pay the same to the Province treasurer, with suflicient sureties, within 
one year from the time of sale, without interest. 

In Council, read and concurred, and Thomas Flucker Esq. is joined in the 

Consented to by the Governor. 

Friday, \ 
June 11, 1762. \ 

The following report was offered by the Committee appointed for the pur- 
pose therein mentioned, viz : 

G8 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

The Committee appointed by the Great and General Court the 17th day of 
February, 17G2, for selling nine Townships and ten thousand acres of the 
Province lands lying in the counties of Hampshire and Berkshire, to such as 
would give most for the same on the conditions mentioned in the order 
aforesaid ; after giving publick notice of the time and place of sale, attended 
said service at Boston, the 2d day of June instant, at the Royal Exchange 
Tavern in King street, and sold the same at public vendue to the highest 
bidder, viz : 

No. 1. The Township called East Hoosuck, of the contents of six miles 
square, exclusive of grants already laid out, to Nathan Jones of Weston, for 
three thousand and two hundred pounds, and have received of him twenty 
pounds earnest money and taken bonds of him, together with Elisha Jones 
and John Murray Esq's, for three thousand one hundred and eighty pounds. 

No. 2. A Township to contain the quantity of six miles square ljing be- 
tween Ashuelot Equivalent, so-called, and the new Township called New 
Hingham, to begin at the northeast corner of said Ashuelot Equivalent, and 
from thence on the easterly side of said Equivalent, southerly six miles, and 
from thence to extend east twenty degrees, south so far as to contain six 
miles square, exclusive of grants already laid out, to Elisha Jones Esq. for 
fourteen hundred and sixty pounds, and have received of him twenty pounds, 
and taken his bond, together with Oliver Partridge Esq., for fourteen hun- 
dred and forty pounds. 

No. 3. A Township to contain the quantity of six miles square lying be- 
tween Ashuelot Equivalent, so-called, and the new Township called New 
Hingham, to bound easterly on the westerly line of the last mentioned Town- 
ship, to square olf six miles from said given line, to Aaron Willard Esq. for 
eighteen hundred and sixty pounds, and have received "of him twenty 
pounds, and taken bond of said Willard, together with John Worthington 
and Timothy Dwight Jr. Esq's, for eighteen hundred and forty pounds. 

No. 4. A Township lying east of New Framingiiam, to begin at the 
northeast corner of New Framingbam, thence 'southerly on the line of said 
Township until it meets with the line of Ashuelot Equivalent, so-called ; 
thence in the line of said Equivalent to the northeast coiner thereof ; thence 
east twenty degrees, south so far as to make the contents of six miles square, 
to Noah Nash for fourteen hundred and thirty pounds, and have received of 
him twenty pounds, and taken his bond, together with Oliver Partridge. 
Thomas Morey, William Williams and Josiah Chauncy, forjxmrteen hundred 
and ten pounds. 

No. 5. Another Township, to join west on the cast line of the last men- 
tioned Township, lying east of New Framingiiam, to extend east twenty de- 
grees, south to square oil' at right angles to make the contents of six miles 
square, to John (Jumniings for eighteen hundred pounds, and have received 
of him twenty pounds, and taken his bond, together with Charles Prescot, 
Thomas Jones. Samuel ]\linot, Filley Merrick, Thomas Barret and Samuel 
Fairer, for seventeen hundred and eighty pounds. 

No. C. A Township to begin at New Framingiiam, northeast corner, 
thence northerly to East Hoosuck south line' nine hundred and fifty rods 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 69 

west of East Hoosuck southeast corner, thence easterly to the southeast cor- 
ner of said East Hoosuck, thence northerly on the east line of said East 
Hoosuck three miles one hundred and seventy rods, thence to extend twenty 
degrees south so far as to make the contents of six miles square, to Abel 
Lawrence for thirteen hundred and fifty pounds, and have received of him 
twenty pounds, and taken his bond, together with Charles Prcscott Esq., for 
thirteen hundred and thirty pounds. 

No. 7. A Township to adjoin west on the last mentioned Township, 
which begins at New Framing-ham, northeast corner, from thence to square 
off at right angles so far as to make the contents of six miles square, to 
Moses Parsons for eight hundred and seventy-five pounds, and have received 
of him twenty pounds, and taken his bond, together with John Ashley and 
John Chadwiek, for eight hundred and fifty-five pounds. 

No. 8. A Township to begin at the southeast corner of Pittsfield, thence 
to run south so far as the north line of Stockbridge, from thence on a straight ■ 
line to Stockbridge northeast corner, thence to extend westerly on Stock- 
bridge line so far as to make the contents of six miles square, exclusive of 
the grants already laid out, to Josiah Dean, for two thousand five hundred 
and fifty pounds, and have received of him twenty pounds, and taken bond 
from him, together with Asa Douglass, Timothy Ilolaboard, John Ashley, 
Elijah Williams, Aaron Sheldon and John Chadwiek, for two thousand five 
hundred and thirty pounds. 

No. 9. Another Township lying west of Southampton, containing about 
twenty-four thousand and seven hundred acres, exclusive of grants, and of 
two hundred and fifty acres now in possession of John Bolton, and bounds 
north on New Ilingham, and to run from the soutlnvest corner of said New 
Ilingham to the northeast corner of number Four thence on the line of said 
number Four, and from thence the same course to Blanford line, then to 
bound south on Blanford and Westfield and east on Southampton, to Wil- 
liam Williams Esq., for fifteen hundred pounds, who gave it up to John 
Chandler, John Murray, Abijah Willard and Timothy Paine, from whom 
have received twenty pounds, and their bonds for fourteen hundred and 
eighty pounds. 

No. 10. Tract of land, bounded north on the Province line, east on land 
belonging to Messrs; Green and Walker and Bulfinch, south partly on 
Charlemont, to extend west to make the contents of ten thousand acres, to 
Cornelius Jones for three hundred and eighty pounds, and have received of 
him ten pounds, and taken his bond with John Chadwiek, for three hundred 
and seventy pounds. 

Amounting in the whole to sixteen thousand four hundred and five 
pounds ; one hundred and ninety pounds whereof, being received, is with 
the bonds amounting to sixteen thousand two hundred and fifteen pounds 
delivered to the Province treasurer as per his receipt herewith. 

All which is humbly submitted in the name and by order of the Com- 
mittee. Thomas Flucker. 

June 10, 17G2. Received the money and bonds as above. 

II. Gray, Treasurer. 

In Council, read and accepted. 

In the House of Representatives, read and concurred. 

Consented to by the Governor. 

70 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Of the townships thus sold, parts of two are within the limits 
of the present town of Cheshire, namely, the northwesterly 
portion of ~No. 4 and the west end of No. 6. Of these No. 4 
seems to have heen earlier settled. From deeds appearing of 
record it is evident that it had proprietors among whom there 
had heen a division of common lands, before the sale hy order 
B PUt S fieid° of tlie General Court in 1762. Thus, on the 12th of June, 
Registry. ifQfy James Burchard, of a place called No. 4 in Berkshire, 
conveys to his grandson, Matthew Woolf Jr., son of Matthew 
Woolf of the same town, house-lot ~No. 66, on the southerly side 
of the Township, hutted and hounded according to the original 
survey as by the proprietor's book of records may appear, and 
as early as 1704 they were enjoying the luxury of selling lands 
for taxes in No. 4. This township seems to have been nearly 
as rich in names as Cheshire has been in corners, since it has 
borne successively the following in addition to No. 4: Dewey's 
Town, Bigott's Town, Williamsburg, Gaereborouefli and AVind- 

The Noah Nash, to whom it was sold in 1702, was a resident 
of Hatfield, and he continues to make deeds of lands in the 
township down to 1784. Among these are deeds to 

B. 4, P. 23 David Parsons of Amherst, Clerk, Oct. 9, 17G5. 

B. 4,P. 12 Simeon Strong of Amherst, Gentleman, Oct. 22, 17G5. 

B. 4, P. 73 Solomon Bolt wood of Amherst, Yeoman, Oct. 22, 17G5. 

B. 8, P. 354 Timothy YVoodbridge of Hatfield, Clerk, Oct. 30, 17G5. 

B. id, P. 155 Elihn Williams of No. 4, Yeoman, June 15, 17GS. 

B. 12, P. 283 David Stevens of No. 4, alias Williamsburgh, June 15, 17G8. 

B. 8, P. 549 Edward Converse Jr., of Killingly, Conn., June 29, 1769. 

B. 10, P. 154 Elihn Williams of No. 4, alias Williamsburgh, Nov. 27, 17G9. 

B. 8, P. 204 Jeremiah Cady of No. 4, alias Williamsburgh, Dec. 15, 17G9. 

B. 8, P. 530 Simon Stevens of No. 4, alias Williamsburgh, Dec 5, 17G9. 

B. 8, P. 102 Thomas Morcy of .Morion, Bristol County, July 4, 1770. 

B. 8, P. 381 Oliver Partridge of Hatfield, July 11, 1770. 

15. «, p. 773 Lephaniah Keich of Gloucester, It. I., Yeoman, La A 81, 2 Div., Dec. 4, 1770. 

P. iu, i'. 158 Benjamin llutchins of Mansfield, Conn., Aug. 16, 1771. 

C. 12, P. 407 Silas Hall and Asa Hall of Gageborough, Dec. 27, 1771. 
B. 14, P. 2 Samuel Watson of Killingly, Conn., Oct. 14, 1778. 

B. 12, P. GG Rufua Dodge of Gageborough, Dec. 14, 1778. 

B. 14, P. 30 John Felshaw of Killingly, Conn., June 24, 1777. 

B. 14, P. 5 Samuel Watson of Killingly, Conn., Nov. 27, 1777. 

B. 21, P. 434 Stephen Cowen of Windsor, May 13, 1781. 

t. 10, P. 53H Elisha Brown of Windsor, LaA 112, 2d Div., May 21, 1784. 


Early Settlements in Cheshire. 71 

An examination of tlic latest county map shows that the New 
Providence Hill was directly north of the part of Windsor 
which was incorporated into the new town of Cheshire, and al- 
most adjoining it, the meeting of the five roads at the school 
house, one of which leads over the hill from Adams, is on the 
line between No. 1, and No. 6, and in the vicinity of this por- 
tion of Windsor to the Hill we find the moving force which 
brought it into the new town. 

Here we find one of the old burial grounds, to be noted 
farther on, situated on the right band side of the road opposite 
the residence of W. P. Bennett. 

It is not so easy to trace the history of the township called 
No. 6. The present town of Savoy comprises the greater por- 
tion of the territory which was included within its bounds as 
given in the order of sale of February 17, 1762. The list of 
towns in the late editions of the Legislative Manual, gives its 
date of incorporation as February 20, 1797, and merely states 
that it was originally "No. 6." 
rage 457. jhe Kev. Pavid D. Field, in his History of Berkshire 
County, published in 1829, gives Bullock's grant as the founda- 
tion of the town, some other lands being incorporated with it. 
lie states that Col. William Bullock of Rehoboth, as agent for 
the heirs of Capt. Samuel Gallop and company, received from 
the General Court in 1770 or 1771, a township of six miles 
srpiare, in consideration of their services and sufferings in an 
expedition into Canada about the year 16 ( ,M), in what was called 
Xing William's war, the township to be located in any unap- 
propriated lands then belonging to Massachusetts, and that Col. 
Bullock located the grant to the south, east and north of Ber- 
nardston's grant, comprising the western and greater part of 
Florida, and which had been previously located. Recalling the 
bounds of No. <>, as given in the General Court's order of sale 
and the report of the committee and the plan, it is certain that 
most, if not all, of this territory is included in No. 0, and also, 
that the part of Cheshire, which comprises the New Providence 
Purchase or Stafford's Hill, is in the same township of No. (>. 
This township was sold June 2, 1702, by the Committee to 
Abel Lawrence for £1,350, and his bond with Charles Prescott 

72 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Esq. surety, taken for £1,330 of the purchase money. Who 
this Abel Lawrence was does not appear, nor lias the writer 
been ahle to ascertain in what manner the title to the township 
conferred upon him by this sale was divested. There is no 
deed from him of record in the Pittsfield registry, and the 
whole township seems to have been traded after the sale, and a 
part of it within the term of five years during which he was 
allowed to settle it according to the vote, as unappropriated land 
of the province. This break in the chain of title has been very 
provoking in the search for a record of the history of the set- 
tlement of Stafford's Hill, causing it at one time to be given up 
in despair. But information gained by sittting down to ex- 
amine in course page by page, the early volumes of records in 
the Registry of Deeds, enables one to give a probable account 
or theory. For some unknown reason' Abel Lawrence sur- 
rendered to the Province his right to the township soon after 
his purchase. The town of Hatfield, portions of whose lands 
had been included in the new townships No. 5 and No. 7, 
which were sold by the same committees in June, 1762, made 
claim for compensation for the land thus taken, and the General 
Court in the same year, 1762, seems to have awarded to them 
an equivalent located in part, at least, on the west end of the 
township which had been sold as No. 6 to Abel Lawrence. 

This land the town of Hatfield placed in the market, and we 
find a conveyance of it made in 1765, by Israel and William 
Williams of Hatfield, and Israel Stoddard of Pittsfield. This 
tract was of 1,176 acres in one of rectangular parcel 432 rods 
east and west by 435 rods and 14 links north and south, and 
bounded southerly by the line of New Framingham, afterwards 

Another and larger parcel of No. 6 seems, upon evidence 
similarly found, to have been granted to Aaron Willard Jr., 
Esq., and his associates, purchasers of the new township No. 3, 
now Worthington, as an equivalent for a deficiency of land 
taken off from No. 3, and in 1766 we find .John Worthington 
and Josiah Dwight, both of Springfield, Timothy Dwight Jr. 
of Northampton, Salah Barnard of Deerfield, and Aaron Wil- 
lard Jr. of Lancaster, in the county of Worcester, Esquires, 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 1?, 

conveying three thousand seven hundred and forty acres and 
fourteen perch of land lying north of and adjoining to Lanes- 
borough, (incorporated from New Framingham in 1765) and 
encircling on three sides the former parcel granted to Hatfield. 

These two parcels undoubtedly cover all that part of the 
original No. which is now within the limits of Cheshire, and 
together they constitute the New Providence Purchase, and it 
was on them that the definite settlement, to which Cheshire is 
traceable, was made. The deeds, run to Nicholas Cooke of 
Providence, in the county of Providence, in the Colony of 
Rhode Island, Esq., and to Joseph Bennet of Coventry, in the 
the county of Kent, in the Colony of Rhode Island, Esq., mak- 
ing them equal tenants in common of both tracts. 

The following are copies of these deeds:— 

Know all men by these presents : That we Israel Williams Esq., 
and William Williams, both of Hatfield, in the county of Hampshire, and 
Israel Stoddard of Pittsfield, in the county of Berkshire, all in the province 
of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. In consideration of the sum of 
two hundred and sixty two pounds, ten shillings lawful money paid us by 
Nicholas Cooke of Providence, in the county of Providence, in the Colony 
of Rhode Island, Esq., the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge, do 
hereby give, grant, sell and convey to the said Nicholas Cooke Esq. and his 
heirs " The one half in quantity and quality of a certain Tract of land lying 
North of and adjoining to the township of New framingham. so-called, in 
the County of Berkshire aforesaid granted and confined to the town of Hat- 
field aforsaid, by the Great and General Court of the province aforesaid, in 
the year of our Lord 17G2, containing in the whole eleven hundred and 
seventy-six acres of land and is thus bounded, that is to say, beginning at a 
Beach tree marked W, which standeth in the North line of said township of 
New framingham, some rods west of the path there leading to Hoosuek and 
in the southwest corner of said Tract, thence running east twenty degrees, 
south four hundred and thirty-two rods on the said north line of New fram- 
ingham to a crooked Beach tree marked W, on the west side, thence North 
20° East four hundred thirty-five Perch and fourteen links to a Beach tree 
marked S, thence West 20°, North four Hundred and thirty-two Perch to a 
Bass tree marked W, on the East side, and thence South 20°, West four 
hundred and thirty-five rods and fourteen links to the first station, the said 
moiety to be in common and undivided between the said Nicholas Cook Esq. 
and one Joseph Bennet Esq., to whom we have this day granted the other 
moiety of the said tract, to be held in the same manner. To have and to 
hold the same to the said Nicholas Cooke Esq. and his Heirs to their only 
proper use and behoof forever. And we do covenant with the said Nicholas 
Cooke Esq., and his Heirs and Assigns that we are lawfully seized in fee of 
the premises that they are free from all incumbrances, that we have good 

7tt Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

right to sell and convey the same to the said Nicholas Cooke Esq., and his 
heirs to hold as aforsaid and that we will warrant and defend the same to 
the said Nicholas Cooke Esq. his heirs and assigns forever against the law- 
ful claims and demands of all persons. In testimony whereof we have here- 
unto set our hands and seals, the twenty-eighth day of June, in the tilth year 
of Ihe reign of our Sovereign Lord George the third of Great Britain, etc. 
King, etc , Annoque Domini, 1765." 

Signed, sealed and delivered by the said Israel Williams and William Wil- 
liams in presence of us 

Thos. Williams. ) Israel Williams and seal. 

Salaii Barnard. ( Wm. Williams and seal. 

Signed, sealed and delivered by the said Israel Stoddard in presence of us. 
fc 9 J & AMa . \ Is^S^uoandsca,. 

Hampshire, ss : Ilatfiekl 29, June, 17G5. Then Israel Williams, Esq., and 
William W illiams, two of the grantors within named, personally appeared 
and acknowledged the within written instrument and conveyance and grant 
therein contained to be their free act and deed. 

Coram Thos. Willtams, Just, Pac. 

Berkshire, ss : Pittsfield 4 : July, 17G5. Then the within named Israel 
Stoddard personally appeared and acnowledged the within written instru- 
ment and the grant and conveyance therein contained to be his free act and 

Coram Perez Marsh, Just. Pac. 

July 4, 17G5, Rec'd and recorded from the original. 

Mark Hopkins, Reg. 

Record Copy Book 2, Page 5G8-9 and 70. 

Know' all men i;y these presents : That we, Israel AVilliams, Esq. and 
William Williams, both of Hatfield, in the county of Hampshire, and Israel 
Stoddard, of Pittsfield, in the County of Berkshire, all in the province of 
the Massachusetts Bay in New England. In consideration of Two hundred 
and sixty-two pounds ten shillings, lawful money paid us by Joseph Bennet, 
of Coventry in the County of Kent, in the Colony of Rhode Island, Esq., 
the receipt whereof we hereby acknowledge, do hereby give, grant, sell 
and convey to the said Joseph Bennet, Esq., and his heirs, the one-half in 
quantity and quality of a certain Tract of land lying north of and adjoining 
to the Township of New r Framingham, in the County of Berkshire, aforesaid 
grannted and continued to the town of Hatfield aforesaid, by the great and 
General Court of the province aforesaid, in the year of our Lord 1763, which 
contains in the whole Eleven hundred and seventy six acres of land, and is 
thus bounded, that is to say : Beginning at a Beach tree marked W, which 
stands in the north line of the said Township of New Framingham, some rods 
west of the path there leading to lloosuck and in the southwest corner of the 
said tract ; thence running east 20 degrees, south four hundred and thirty- 
two rods on the said north line of New Framingham to a crooked beach tree 
marked W on the west side ; thence north 20 degrees, east four hundred and 
thirty-live perch and fourteen links to a Beach tree marked S ; thence 20 


Early Settlements in Cheshire. 75 

degrees north four hundred and thirty-two perch to a Bass tree marked W 
on the east side, and thence south 20 degrees, west lour hundred thirty- 
two perch and fourteen links to the first station, (the said moiety to be in com- 
mon and undivided between the said Joseph Ben net, Esq. and one Nicholas 
Cooke, Esq., to whom we have this day granted the other moiety of the said 
Tract to be held in the same manner) To have and to hold the same to the said 
Joseph Bennet, Esq., .and their heirs to their only proper use and behoof 
forever, and we do covenant with the said Joseph Bennet, Esq., and his 
heirs and assigns that we are lawfully seized in fee of the premises, that they 
are free of all incumbrances, that we have good right to sell and convey the 
same to the said Joseph Bennet, Esq., and his heirs to hold as aforesaid and 
that we will warrant and defend the same to the said Joseph Bennet, Esq., 
his heirs and assigns forever against the lawful claims and demands of all 
persons. In testimony whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals, 
the twenty -eighth day of June, in the fifth year of the Reign of our Sovereign 
Lord, George the third, of Great Britain,tVe.,Annoque Domini One thousand 
seven hundred and sixty-live. 

Signed, sealed and delivered by ye sd. Israel Williams and William Will- 
iains in presence of 

Tuos. Williams, \ Israel Williams and seal. 

Salaii Barnard, f Wm. Williams and seal. 

Signed, sealed and delivered by the said Israel Stoddard in presence of 
K£™S2U j Is I ,u,,S 1 ou UA u Dll n, ls ,U 

Hampshire, ss : Hatfield 29, June, 1705. Then the within named Israel Wil- 
liams, Esq., and William Williams personally appeared and acknowledged 
the within written instrument and the grant and conveyance therein con- 
tained and made to be their free act and deed. 

Coram Tuos. Williams, Just. Pae. 

Berkshire, ss : 4, July, 1705. Then the within named Israel Stoddard 
personally appeared and acknoweldged the within written instrument and 
the grant and conveyance therein contained and made to be his free act and 
deed. Coram Perez Maksa, Just, Pac. 

July 4, 1705 : Rcc'd and Recorded from the original. 

M. IIoPKiNS. Beg. 
Record Copy Book 2, Page 508-9 and 79. 

To all People to whom these Presents shall come Greeting : 
Know ye, That we, John Woithiugton and Josiah Dwight. both of Spring- 
held, Timothy Dwight, Jun'r, of Northampton, and Salah Barnard, of 
Deerfield, all in ye County of Hampshire, and Aaron Willard, Jun'r, of 
Lancaster, in ye County of Worcester, all in ye province of the Massachu- 
setts Bay, in New England, Esquires, For and in Consideration of the Sum 
of Nine Hundred, Thirty-five pounds, lawful money to us in Hand before 
the Ensealing hereof well and truly paid by Nicholas Cooke, of Providence, 
in the County of Providence, and Joseph Bennet, of Coventry, in the County 
of Kent, both in ye Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation in 
New England, Esquires the Receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge, 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and ourselves therewith fully satisfied and contented, and thereof, and of 
ever)' Part ami Parcel thereof do exonerate, acquit and discharge them the 
said Nicholas and Joseph, their respective Heirs, Executors and Adminis- 
ters forever by these Presents Have given, granted, bargained, sold, aliened, 
conveyed and confirmed and by these Presents, Do freely, fully and abso- 
lutely give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, convey and confirm unto them the 
said Nicholas and Joseph, their respective Heirs and Assigns forever to each 
one of them One Moiety or half part of a certain Tract of Land containing 
Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and forty acres and fourteen perch lying- 
northerly of and adjoining to Lanesborough in the County of Berkshire 
partly and partly on the New Township, Number four in the same County 
being part of a Grant of Land made laid out and confirmed to Aaron Wil- 
lard, Jun'r, Esq with his associates, purchasers of the new Township Num. 
ber Three, viz : -Beginning at a Beach Staddle in ye north line of Lanes- 
borough aforesaid marked, and thence running north forty degrees, East 
four hundred and eighteen perch to a Beach Tree marked ; thence east 
thirty degrees, north seventy-live perch ; thence north twenty-six degrees 
East ninety-two perch ; thence east thirty-four degrees, north forty perch to 
East Hoosuck line and on the sa'd line, being east, ten degrees south one 
thousand and ninety-three perch to a large Hemlock Tree marked ; thence 
south four hundred and sixty-rive perch to a Beach Staddle, marked ; thence 
west forty-two degrees, south three hundred and ten perch to the line of 
Township, Number four aforesaid, and thence to the first station, that is to 
say excepting Eleven Hundred and Seventy-six acres of Land circumscribed 
and included within the above lines and limits a grant made some time since 
to the Town of Hatfield, and now owned and held by the said Nicholas and 
Joseph, under said Town and not now conveyed. To HAVE and to hold the 
said granted and bargained Premises with all the appurtenances, privileges 
and commodities to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining to them 
the said Nicholas and Joseph, in equal halves and to their respective Hers 
and Assigns forever. To their and their only proper use, benefit and behoof, 
forever, and we tin; said John, Josiah* Timothy, Salah and Aaron for our- 
selves and for our respective Heirs, Executors and Administrators do cove- 
nant, promise and gn.nt to and with the said Nicholas and Joseph their 
respective Heirs and Assigns that before the ensealing hereof, we are the 
true sole and lawful owner of the above bargained Premises and are lawfully 
seized and possessed of the same in our own proper right as a good, perfect and 
absolute; estate of inheritance in fee simple, and have in ourselves good right, 
full power and liwful authority to grant, bargain, sell, convey and confirm 
said bargained Premises in manner as aforesaid, and that the said Nicholas 
and Joseph, their respective Heirs and Assigns sha'l from time to lime and 
at all time forever, hereafter by force and virture of these Presents, lawfully, 
peacefully and quietly have, hold, use, occupy, possess and enjoy the said 
demised and bargained Premises with the appurtenances free and clear and 
freely and clearly acquitted, exonerated and discharged of from all and all 
manner of former or other gifts, grants, bargains, sales, leases, mortgages, 
wills, entails, jointures, dowries, judgments, executions or incumbrances of 


Early Settlements in Cheshire. 77 

what name or nature soever, that might in any measure or degrc \ obstruct 
or make void this present deed. Furthermore we, the said John, Josiah, 
Timothy, Sa 1 ah and Aaron for ourselves and our Heirs, Executors and Ad- 
ministrators, do covenant and engage the above demised Premises to them, 
the said Nicholas and Joseph, their respective Heirs and Assigns against the 
lawful claims or demands of any person or persons whatsoever, forever 
hereafter to warrant, secure and demand by these Presents. In witness 
Whereof, we ye. s'd, John, Josiah, Timothy, Salah and Aaron have hereunto 
set our hands and seals, this Twenty-sixth day of June, in yc sixth year of 
his Majesty's Reign, Annoque Domini, 17GG. 

Signed, sealed in presence of John Wortiiington and seal. 

[the words 'and thence to first station Josiah D wight and seal. 
first interlined."] Timothy Dwight and seal. 

Waff. Lyman. Salaii Barnakd and seal. 

Sam'l Mather. Aaron Willard and seal. 

Hampshire ss : June 20. I7GG. Then John Wortiiington, Josiah Dwight, 
Timothy Dwight, Salah Barnard and Aaron Willard, Jun'r, Esqs., within 
named acknowledged the foregoing instrument to be their deed before, 

Sam'l Marther, Just. Pac. 
Sept. 2G, 17GG, Hec'd and Recorded from the original. 

M. IIoPRiNS, Peg. 

Tims Nicholas Cook of Providence, and Joseph Bonnet of 
Coventry, are the prime movers in the settlement of Cheshire, 
and of the early emigration from Rhode Island to Berkshire. 
Prior to their purchase there is mention in the Registry of 
Deeds of only one conveyance to an inhabitant of Rhode Island, 
Pittsfieid so described, of lands in the conntv. On the 2,sth of June, 

Kctfistrv 1$. M . 

p. 2oo. " " 17(>3, one Moses Warrin of Ilopkinton, Rhode Island, Clothier, 
buys of Joseph Warrin of Tyringhatir, lot number 137 in Tyr- 
ingham, To acres, "whereof" says Joseph Warrin, "I was the' 
original proprietor." Whether Joseph Warrin also came from 
Rhode Island, and afterward induced a brother to follow him 
does not appear, but with this exception, the first ten books in 
the Registry of Deeds disclose only purchases in New Provi- 
dence, Gageborough, LanesborOugh and East Iloosuck by resi- 
dents of Rhode Island, save only that the Rev. Samuel Hop- 
kins who lemoved from Great Harrington to Newport in 1770, 
on the 27th of March, 1772, conveys lands in Great Harrington 
to his son David, who is also described its of Newport, Rhode 

Ke , ( ;:, K 5 Of the original proprietors of the New Providence purchase, 

1741-1 raw. o x j. i 

Field Hist, 
p. 229. 

78 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Nicholas Cooke, tlio more prominent seems to Lave been en- 
gaged in it merely as a speculation. lie remained in Rhode Is- 
land, lie was a member of the Court of Assistants of that 
Colony from 1 T5!i to 1761, and Deputy Governor in 1768 and | 


Joseph Bennett seems to have been admitted a freeman of 
the Rhode Island Colony from Coventry in May, 1758. A Mr. 
Joseph Bennett of Newport, possibly an ancestor, was made 
High Sheriff on the 1st of May, 1700. The only other mention 
of Joseph of Coventry is under date of 2}3d of February, 1701, 
when he was made one of a committee, consisting- of Nicholas 
Cooke Es<p, Messrs. John Brown, Knight Dexter, Joseph Ben- 
nett, Joseph Bucklin and George Jackson, to apply to paving 
the streets of Providence, a lottery of three classes for raising 
the sum of £6000, granted by the General Assembly upon the 
petition of the citizens of Providence. 

We might speculate whether Nicholas Cooke Esq., the chair- 
man of this committee, found Mr. Joseph Bennett, his col- 
league, so efficient in the management of the lottery, or the 
work of paving, that he selected him as his partner in the sub- 
sequent operation in wild lands, and, also, whether both of 
them realized out of the lottery or the contracts for paving, the 
money which they paid for their Berkshire purchase; but, in 
whatever way they became acquainted, they were able to in- 
duce their neighbors to share in their enterprise and to remove 
with Rennet to the new country or to follow him. 

Captain, afterwards Colonel Joab Stafford, was employed by 
them to lay out and map their purchase, and the map, which 
was iiled in the Registry of Deeds, shows that the gallant cap- 
tain was a master of the pen and rule as well as the sword. 
This map was found by the process of examination above re- 
ferred to, looking through the book page by page after all hope 
of seeing it had been lost. The copy accompanying this paper 
has been made from it by George A. Murdoek.* 

Captain Stafford, a townsman, in Coventry, of Joseph Ben- 
nett, himself made the first purchase of lands from Cooke and 


*That copy, handsomely photographed, is in the Archives of the Berkshire Historical 
and Scientific Society. 

Karly Settlements in Cheshire. 71) 

B. 5. p. 403 p )0ime tt 5 on the 5th of November, 1760, 396 acres in three lots, 
and, on the next day, Cooke and Bennett, by a deed acknow- 
ledged in Providence and witnessed by Joab Stafford and Silas 
Downer, made portion between themselves of their remaining 
lands. It is surmised that Nicholas Cooke Esq,, was a lawyer 
and drafted his own deeds, and if so, he was a good one, for 
this indenture of partition is a model, delighting a lawyer's 
heart. It reads as follows : — - 

This Indenture of Partition made the sixth day of November, in the sev- 
enth year of his Majesty's Reign, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty- 
six, by and between Nicholas Cooke, of Providence, in the County of 
Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island, of the one part, and Joseph 
Bennet, of Coventry, in the County of Kent, in the Colony aforesaid, 
Esquire of the other part. Witnesseth that whereas, the the said Nicholas 
Cooke and Joseph Bennet purchased together of Col. Israel Williams, of 
Hatfield, and others in company, "a certain tract of land lying in the County 
of Berkshire, in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, between the Town- 
ships of Lanesborough and East Hoosuck, and bounded southerly on the 
said Lanesborough and on the other three sides on other land of the said 
Nicholas Cooke and Joseph Bennet, which they purchased of Aaron Willard 
and others which said tract lies in a square form, the northern and southern 
boundary lints being four hundred and thirty-two rods long and the easterly 
and westerly boundary lines being four hundred and thirty-live rods long, 
the whole tract containing about Eleven Hundred and Seventy-six acres. 
Now they, the said Nicholas Cooke and Joseph Bennet, do make partition 
of the said tract of land as followeth, viz.: By a line running easterly and 
westerly as said tract lieth directly through the middle thereof and parallel 
with the aforesaid northerly and southerly boundry lines, and that all the 
land in said tract lying southerly of the said dividing line shall be and remain 
to the said Nicholas Cooke his Heirs and Assigns forever, in severalty and 
that all the land in said tract lying to the northward of the said dividing 
line shall be and remain to the said Joseph Bennet, his Heirs and Assigns 
forever in severalty as by the plan thereof may appear. And whereas, ye 
said Nicholas Cooke and Joseph Bennet have laid out their other lands ad- 
joining which they purchased of Aaron Williard and others as aforementioned 
into divers lots, and have caused a plan to be made thereof. Now it is fur- 
ther witnessed that they, the said Nicholas Cooke and Joseph Bennet, do 
make partition of divers of the said lots as followeth, that is to say : The 
lots number three containing two hundred acres, number thirteen contain- 
ing one hundred and three acres, number fourteen containing one hundred 
and five acres, number fifteen containing one hundred acres, number six- 
teen containing one hundred acres, number nineteen containing seventy 
acres, number twenty-one containing eighty acres, number twenty-nine con- 
taining one hundred and three acres, and number thirty-one containing 
twenty acres, according to the Plan thereof shall be and remain to the said 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Nicholas Cooke his Heirs and Assigns forever in severalty. And that the 
lots number eight containing two handled and fifty-seven acres, number 
nine containing one hundred and live acres, number eighteen containing 
one hundred acres, number twenty-four containing ninety-three acres, num- 
ber twenty-six containing one hundred and three acres and number thirty 
containing one hundred and three acres according to the plan thereof, shall 
be and remain to the said Joseph Bennet, his Heirs and Assigns forever and 
in severalty. And the said Joseph Bennet doth hereby remise, release and 
forever quitclaim and confirm unto him the said Nicholas Cooke (in his 
actual seisen and possession now being) and to his Heirs and Assigns foreuer 
all the estate, right, title, interest, share, portion, dividend, claim ami de- 
mand whatsoever, which the said Joseph Bennet ever had. now hath, or 
might claim of in and to all the lands aforementioned, and expressed to be 
divided and set on° unto the said Nicholas Cooke in severalty, with all the 
privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging. To have and to hold the 
same unto the said Nicholas Cooke, his Heirs and Assigns forever in fee 
simple. And he the said Nicholas Cooke on his part doth hereby remise, 
release and forever quitclaim and confirm unto the said Joseph Bennet (in 
his actual seisen and possession now being) and to his Heirs and Assigns 
forever all the estate, right, title, interest, share, portion, dividend, claim 
and demand whatsoever which the said Nicholas Cooke ever had, now hath, 
or might claim of in and all to the lands aforementioned and expressed to be 
divided and set oil' unto the said Joseph Bennet in severalty, with all the 
privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging. To have and to hold the 
same unto him, the said Joseph Bennet, his Heirs and Assigns forever in fee 
simple. In witness whereof, the said Nicholas Cooke and Joseph Bennet, 
have hereunto interchangably set their hands and seals the day and year 
afore written. 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us, 

Joaij Stafford, } Nicholas Cooke aud seal. 

Silas Downku. \ Joseph Bennet aud soal, 

Providence ss : Nov. ye G, 1750. ^Then the within named Nicholas Cooke 
and Joseph Bennet, Esquires, personally appeared and acknowledged the 
within instrument to be their free act and deed before me. 

Stephen Rawson, Assistatant. 
' Fcb'y 8, 1708, Rec'd and Recorded from the Original. 

M. IIopkfns, Reg. 
Record Copy Book G, Pages 123, 124 and 125. 

This partition having been made sales were made to others 
and the settlement advanced. The earliest to remove from 
Rhode Island seem to have settled on the New Providence Hill 
as it was called, and to have belonged to the Baptist denomina- 
tion. Following them came other inhabitants of Rhode Island, 
many of them settling farther to the north in what was then 
East Hoosnelv, or No. 1, now Adams, and of these very many 

Early Settlement* in Cheshire. 81 

were Quakers. To tins difference of religion is probably due 
the fact that the New Providence .settlement was not incorpo- 
rated with East Hoosuck into the town of Adams in 1778, in 
which contingency probably there would have been no Cheshire; 
for, according to the Kev. .John W. Yeomansin Field's History 
of Berkshire it was the wish of the New Providence settle]'.- to 
be incorporated with Adams and during 1778 the inhabitants of 
East Hoosuck were twice called on to vote on the question of 
extending the charter so as to embrace New Providence, but 
each time rejected this proposition. New Providence Purchase 
must, however, have been subsequently annexed to the town of 
Adams, by an Act of which we fail to find mention, for, for some 
years prior to 1793 we find the people residing upon it dating 
their letters from Adams, and Win church established on the 
Hill calling itself the Baptist Church in Adams. The present 
south line of Adams is evidently the old south line of East 
Hoosuck, so that it seems reasonably certain that the part of 
Adams which at the incorporation of Cheshire in 171)3 went 
into the new town, was just the New Providence Purchase, and 
that it had been annexed to Adams after, the incorporation of 
that town. 

The following list shows the conveyances recorded in the first 
ten books of the Pi'ttstield Registry of Deeds running to per- 
sons named as residents of Rhode Island. It includes all the 
surnames given by Dr. Field in his history as of early am] 
prominent settlers in Cheshire, and many more, and there is 
reason to suppose that most persons named in it became resi- 
dents on the land conveyed to them: 

Nicholas Cooke, Providence, II, I., June 28,1705. One-half of certain B.2, p,5C7 
land containing in all 117G acres lying north and adjoining New Framing-ham. Copy. 

Joseph Bennet, Coventry, K. I., June 28, 1705. One-half of certain tract rj 2, p. 56tJ 
containing in all 1170 acres lying north and adjoining New Framingham. Copy. 

Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. I., June 20, 1700. Joseph Behriet, Cov- g. 3, p. 5;,t; 
entry, It. I. To each one of them one moiety or half part of 3740 acres and l J «Py- 
14 perch lying northerly and adjoining Lancsborough partly and partly on 
No. 4, excepting 1170 acres now owned by them, Cooke and Bennet. 

Joab Stafford, Coventry, R. I., November 5, 1700. Three several tracts 13.5, p. 403 
lying between East Hoosuck and Williamsburg, Lot No. 5, 200 acres ; Lot 
No. 17, 100 acres ; Lot No. 22, 99 acres and parts of u certain tract con- 
veyed to us by Aaron Willard and als. 

S2 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

B. 5, p. 333. John Becklin, Coventry, It. I., November G, 17GG. One tract of 200 acres 

lying between East Hoosuek and Williamsburg and is Lot No. 1. 
B. 5, p. 399. Nathaniel Jacobs, Providence, R. 1., November G, 17GG. Four several 
tracts lying between East Hoosuek and Williamsburg, Lot No. 7, 237 acres 
and Lot No. 10, 110 acres ; Lot No. 11, GO acres and Lot 25. 125 acres. 
15. 5, p. 397. Samuel Low, Providence, 11. I.. November G, 17GG. Three several lots 
lying between East Hoosuek and Williamsburg, 3-4 parts of Lot No. 4 (con- 
taining in all 200 acres) which is 150 acres. The other 1-4 being set oil! to be 
appropriated for a meeting house. Also Lot 27, 111 acres ; Lot 28, 108 acres. 

13. 5, p. 401. Simeon Smith, Providence, R.I;, November G, 17GG, 2 Lots lying be- 
tween East Hoosuek and Williamsburg. Lot No. 17, 100 acres, and is the 
westernmost half of Lot 3. 

13.5, p. 403. Jabez Pierce, Providence, R. I., November G, 17GG. Three several Lots 
lying between East Hoosuek and Williamsburg. Lot No. 2, 200 acres ; Lot 
No. 12, 102 acres • Lot 20, 100 acres. 

13. o, p. 123. Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. I., November G, 17GG, Joseph Bennet, 
Coventry, R. I. Division of Lands. (See map.) 

13. 5, p. 407. Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. I., November 11, 176G, Joseph Bennet, 
opy ' Coventry, R. I. Two certain tracts lying between East Hoosuek and Will- 

amsburg. Lot No. 22, 102 acres ; Lot No. 20, 100 acres. 

13. 5, p. 395. Joseph Martin, Providence, It. I., November 11, 17GG. The easternmost 
half of a 200 a. lot lying between East Hoosuek and Williamsburg and is 
Lot No. 2. 

13. 7, p. 118. William Brown, North Providence, R. I., June 10, 17G7. Lot No. 118 in 
the 2d division in Williamsburg. 

B. 5, p. 211. Joseph Aldridge, Glocester, It. I., June 2G, 17G7. Lanesborough No. 70 
in the 2d division of Lots. 

13.7, p. 627. Shubal Willmarth, Providence, It. I., October 31, 17G7. Land between 
East Hoosuek and Williamsburg. The easternmost half of Lot No. 2. 

13. 6, p. 122. Elisha Brown, Warwick, It. I , November 0, 1707. Land in Lanesbor- 
ough, No. 41 in the 2d division. 

13.0, p. 121. Elisha Brown, Norwich, It. I., November 2G, 17G7. Land in Lanesbor- 
ough, Lot No. 45. supposed to be in the 2d division. 

13.0, p. 120. John Tib'ts, Warwick, It. I., February 4, 1708. Land in No. 4, alias 
Williamsburg and is Lots No. 116 and 119 in the 2d division 

13. 8, p. 51 1. Henry Tibit, Warwick, R. I., April 26, 17G8. Land in No. 4, alias Will- 
iamsburg and is Lot No. 21 in the 2d division. 

13. 0, p. 122. John Wells, Cranstown, It. 1., May 17, 17G8. Land in No. 4, alias Will- 
iamsburg, Lot No. 11G in the 2d division. 

13.7, p. 173. Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. I., June 25, 17G8. Land in New Provi- 
dence and is part of Lot No. 6, 100 acres about. 

13. 8, i». 192. Henry Tibits, Warwick, It. I., July 15, 17G0. Land in No. 4, alias 
Williamsburg and is Lot 120 in the 2d division. 

Nathan Comstock, Cumberland, It. I., September 20, 17G8, Ichabod Corn- 
stock, Cumberland, It. I. Laud in East Hoosuek and is Lot 5 in the Pro- 
prietors' division. 

B. 8, p. 901. 













Karly Settlements in Cheshire. 83 

Elisha Brown, Warwick, U. I., October 0, 1708. Lot No. 40 in the 2d B. 5, p. 183 
division, north Range in Lanesborough. 
Stephen Carpenter, Providence, It. I., February 8, 1769. Land in New b. 7, p. pa. 

Providence and contains 115 acres. 

Daniel Brown, Warwick, R. I., March 1, 170!). Land in Lanesborough, b. c, p. 364. 
» Lot No. 45, supposed to be in the 2d division. 

Zebediah Shepardson, Providence, It. 1., April 11, 1769. Land lying B. 7, p. 513. 
between East Hoosuck and Williamsburg and is Lot No. 10. 100 acres. 

Daniel Bennct. Situate, R. I., April 22, 1709. Land in No. 4, alias Will- B. 8, p.543. 
•* ian.sburg, Lot No. 20 and 102 containing 100 acres, each the alter Draughts 

of the Original or home Lot No. 24, being the whole of the whole of ihe 
after Draughts. 

John Tibits, Warwick, R. L, April 24, 17G9. Land in Lanesborough. B. 8, p. 5S2. 
North Lot No. 70 in the 2d division, except two pieces containing 20 acres, 
and 4 acres part of north Lot No. 1 in the 2d division of 4 acres. Also part 
of east Lot 0G in 2d division of 20 acres. 

Ilezekiah Hammond, Scituate, It. I., April 2G, 1709. Part of 218 acres. 

Ilczekiah Hammond, Scituate, R. I., April 20, 1709. Part of 218 acres. 

Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. 1., June 21, 17G9, Joseph Bennct, New 
^ Providence, Co. of Berk. Land in New Providence. (Discharged.) 

Edmund Jenks, Smithfield, R. 1., Jesse Jenks, Cumberland. It. I., July B.10,p.K 

20, 1709. Lands in East Hoosuck, Lots Nos. 2, 3, and 4 in the west range of 

t selling Lots. B. G. p r>u. 

* ' ° Joseph Ben- 

Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. I., September 1G, 17G9. Land in Newnet, Grantor, 

Providence. Lot No. 12, 102 acres and Lot No. 20, 100 acres. a11 ^te^''^' 

Ichabod Comstock, Sniilhlield, R. I., October 31,1769. Land in East B. 8, p. 1st. 
Hoosuck and is a part of Lot 4. 

Peleg Whitford, West Greenwich, R. I., December 15, 1809. Land in B. 8, p. 827. 
No. 4, alias Williamsburg, being Lot No. 115 in the 2d division, containing 
in all 100 acres. 

Henry Bovven, Warren, R. I., December 27, 17G9. Land lying between B. 8, p. us. 
Westlield and Sheffield, 000 acres by estimation. et( '' 

Daniel Gosner, West Greenwich, R. I., April 2, 1770. Land in Jericho, B. 8, p. 3. 
* part of Lot 4. * 

Samuel Corcw, Providence, R. I., May 14, 1770. Land in New Provi- b. 7, p. 731. 
dence, Lot No. 12, 102 acres ; No. 13, 103 acres and No. 14, 105 acres. 

Andrew Edmunds, Warwick, R. I., May 14, 1770. Land in No. 4, alias b. 8, p. gig. 
Williamsburg, Lot No. Ill in the 2d division, 100 acres. 

Benjamin Roberts, Warwick, R. I., August 2, 1770. Land in New Provi- b. 7, p. lis. 
f dence, Lot No. 18, 100 acres. 

Elcazer Brown, Smithfield, R. I., August 10, 1770. Land in East [loo- b. 8, p. is:.. 
suck, part of Lot No. 4, contains 185 acres. 

Joshua Reed, Scituate, R. I., August 31, 1770. Land lying between East b. 10, p. Gil. 
Hoosuck and Williamsburg, Lot No. 10, 110 acres; Lot No. 11, 05 acres. 

Timothy Mason, Cumberland, R. I., September 1, 1770. Land in No. 4, b. s, p. 828. 
alias Williamsburg, Lot No. 102 in the 2d division, 85A acres. 

Robert Car, West Greenwich, R. I., October 29, 1770. Land in Jericho, b. 7, p. 569 
part of the fourteenth Lot, 100 acres. 

84: Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

B. 7, p. GOl. Elislia Brown, Warwick, R. I., November 13, 1770. Two tracts lying in 
Williamsburg, Lot No. 117 in the last division, 100. Also the west end of 
Lot No. Ill in the 2d division, 80 acres. 

Moses Fisk, Scituate, R. I., November 28, 1770. Land on the mountain 
Grant, 155 acres. 

Job Salisbury, Cranstown, R. I., November 28, 1770. Land on the 
mountain Grant or Goodrich's Grant, 104 acres, i 

Zephaniah Keeeh, Gloucester, R. 1., December 4, 1770. Land in No. 4, 
alias Williamsburg, Lot No. 31 in the 2d division and contains 100 acres. 

Jeremiah Smith, the Third. Smithiield, March 23, 1771. Land in East 
Hoosuck and is Lot 11 in the 2d division. 

Nicholas Cooke. Providence, R. I., June 11, 1771. Land in New Provi- 
dence, part of Lot No. 6, 05 acres. 

William Lewis, Richmond, R. I., July 18, 1771. Land lying north and 
adjoining Lanesborough, Lot No. 5 and part of Lot No. 8 in the division of 
Col. Dwight, Grant. 

Abeathar Angel, Scituate, R. L, acknowledged September 3, 1771. Land 
in Lanesborough, being a part of the easternmost Lot No. G3 in the 2d. 

Samuel Hopkins, Newport, R. I., October 28, 1771. Land in Great Bar- 
rington, being part of Lot No. 5 in the west division of lots in the upper 

Elias Gilbert, Newport, R. I., October 29, 1771. Land in Great Barring- 
ton and in Showenon purchase — so called— 1G acres. 
B 9, p. 285. Daniel Coman. North Providence, Co. of Providence, November 28, 1771. 

Land in Lanesborough, Lot No. 18 in the first division. 
B 10,p.731. Charles Arnold, Smithtield, R. I., December 18, 1771. Land in East 

Hoosuck, being Lot No. G in the east Range, 100 acres. 
B 10, p GOG. Elisha Brown, Warrick, R, 1., December 10, 1771. Land in Lanesbor- 
ough. All my lands that 1 have or ever had — that is all my right, etc. 

Nicholas Cooke, Providence, R. I., January 1G, 1772. Land in New 

Providence, Lot No. 10. 

B lo, p. 133. David Hopkins, probably of Newport, R. I., March 27, 1772. His father 

Samuel Hopkins being'of Newport, R. 1. Land in Great Barrington, 21 acres. 

B 10, p. 130. Samuel Hopkins, Newport, It. 1., March 30, 1772. Land in Great 

mtge. Barrington. (Discharged.) 

B 10 p 293. Thomas Matterson, Warwick, R. I., May 2, 1772. Land in Lanesborough. 
The west lot, Lot No. 52 in the 2d division, 100 acres. 

John Fisk, Scituate, Co. of R. I., October 13, 1772. Land in East Hoo. 
suck, No. 5 in the 2d division, containing 200 acres by estimation. 
B Q p 081 *J° nu l >nnn l )S > Glocester, R. I., May 4, 1773. Land in Gageborough, 100 

acres and is Lot 114. 
B. 9, p. G83. John Phillips, Glocester, R L, May 4, 1773. Land in Gageborough, 150 

acres by estimation and is all ofLot GO in the first division. 
B 10 p 474 John Phillips, Glocester, R. I., June 1, 1773. Land in Gageborough, 

Lot No. 33 in the first division, 150 acres. 
B 9 p Gi7 Joseph Brown, Cumberland, R. 1., June 4, 1773. Land in Gageborough, 
77 acres and 154 rods. 

B. 7, p. 555. 
B. 7, p. 553. 
B. 8, p. 732. 
B. 8, p. 95G. 
B. 9. p. G7, 
B. 9, p. 27. 

B. 9, p. 59. 
B. 9, p. 81. 

B. 9, p. 83. 

B. 9, p. 405. 

B. 9, p. 4G5. 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 85 

James Barker, Middletown, R. I., June 9, 1773. Land in Lanesborough, B 10, p. mm. 
part of the east Lot No. CG In the 2d division. The whole of Lot No. 00 
except 25 acres. 

James Barker, Middletown. It. I., June 0, 1773. Land in L an esbo rough, B. 10, p. mo. 
being part of Lot No. 21 and 70 in the 2d division, containing 57^ acres. 

John Barker, Newport, It. 1.. June 9, 1773. Land in Lanesborongh, being B. 10. p. 550. 
part of Lot 21 and 70 in the 2d division, 7G acres. 

James Barker, Middletown, 11. I., September 4, 1773. Land in Lanes- B. 10, p. 613. 
borough, 1 acre. 

Elisha Brown, Jnn'r. Warwick, 11. I., October 2, 1773. Land in Gage- B.10,p.6u& 
borough. Homestead containing 140 acres and 128 rods. 
* Thos. Bussey, Glocester, R, 1., October 22, 1773. Land in Gageborongh. B. 10, p. 614. 

Farm containing 150 acres. 

Benjamin Ellis, Warwick, It. I., February 5, 1774. Land it Lanesbor- Bio, p. 71C. 
ough. Lot 41 in the 2d division. 

John Brayton, Smithneld, It. I., December 13, 1784. 22i acres. Possession b. 9, p. 913. 
December 17, 1784. Execution. 

Of these men the destrihution into localities was as follows : 

New Providence. — Joseph Bennett, Joab Stafford, John 
Becklin, Nathaniel Jacobs, Samuel Low, Simeon Smith, Jabez 
Pierce, Joseph Martin, Shnball Wilmarth, Stepen Carpenter, 
Zebediah Shepardson, Samnel Corew, Joshua Reed, William 
Lewis, Benjamin Roberts. 

No. 4, Gageborouyh, alias Windsor. — William Brown, John 
Tibits, Henry Tibits, John Wells, Daniel Bennett, Peleg Whit- 
ford, Andrew Edmunds, Timothy Mason, Elisha Brown, Zeph- 
aniah lveech, John Phillips, Joseph Brown, Elisha Brown, Jr., 
Thomas Bnssey. 

Laneshorouyh. — Jose])hAldridge,ElishaT>rown,DanielBrown, 
John Tibits, Abeathar Angel, Daniel Coman, Thomas Matteson, 
Benjamin Ellis, James Barker, John Barker, 

East lloosack or Adams. — Nathan Comstock, Ichabod Coin- 
stock, Edmund Jenks, Jesse Jenks, Eleazer Brown, Jermiah 
Smith, 3d., Charles Arnold, John Fisk. 

To return to the first settlers, we find that Capt. Joab Staf- 
ford attended the General Assembly at Newport in May, 1702, 
as a Deputy from Coventry. 

In 1778 we find him empowered as Colonel Joab Stafford, to 
issne his warrant to some principal inhabitant of the newly 
incorporated town of Adams, requiring him to warn the inhab- 
itants thereof to assemble for their first town meeting — and on 

80 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

the 21st of August, 1801, we find him, describing himself as 
Joah Stafford, of Cheshire, gentleman, quit claiming to Allen 
Briggs, of Adams, gentleman; Daniel Read, yeoman, and 
Timothy Mason, gentleman, both of Cheshire, for $400, all the 
remnant of his land in the New Providence Purchase, includ- 
ing 14 acres "on which an execution was some time since 
extended in favor of Ruloof White against me." Doubtless 
the correct records would disclose the cause of action, but it is 
..better not to peer too curiously into the gallant Colonel's em- 
barrassments. One of the witnesses to this deed is Richard 
Stafford, perhaps his son, and is acknowledged before Ezra 
Barker, as a Justice, a son of his Rhode Island compatriots. 
Richard Stafford seems to have married Susannah, daughter of 
Elisha Brown, another of the Rhode Island people, and in 1823 
they were living at Canajoharie, New York. 

Tradition preserves a pleasant account of his introduction of 
Mrs. Stafford to her new home on the summit of the new 
Providence Hill. While he was mapping out the purchase and 
erecting a house on the lots to which he took title, his wife 
remained in Rhode Island. When the dwelling was ready for 
occupancy he returned for his family. As they journeyed on 
the good woman sought for an exact description of the new 
home she was to occupy and of its surroundings. But the Cap- 
tain did not see fit to gratify her curiosity, and as they approached 
their destination, sought her opinion of the different dwellings 
and locations which they found upon the road. At last Mrs. 
Stafford found one which delighted her exceedingly, and after 
the Captain had stopped to allow her to examine and admire it, 
she exclaimed, " Oh ! if I could only live there I would be per- 
fectly satisfied." Whereupon the Captain turned into the 
enclosure and informed her that they were at home. 

It was from this home, whence he could see the summits of 
the Greyloek range apparently upon a level with him at the 
west, and the valley of the Iloosac nestling beneath them in the 
north, with glimpses of the vales in which rose the Ilousatonic 
on the south, that Col. Stafford went with the Berkshire men 
to the battle of Bennington, where he fought and was wounded. 
Let us hope that it was from this home that in the golden 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 87 

autumn days of 1801, three months after he had parted with the 
last acre of his land, his neighbors with the old pastor whom he 
iieiped to bring from .Rhode Island, at their head, carried the 
departed Colonel down the southern slope of the hill to the 
burying ground where his remains now repose. At the southern- 
most foot of the hill, on a gentle eminence around which curves 
a babbling, crystal watered brook, is that of the ancient burial 
place of Cheshire in which sleeps this man, who according to 
the inscription on his tombstone, a stone almost buried to the 
earth as though it sought to keep closer company with the dust 
of him whom it commemorates, so that he who reads it must 
perforce kneel, u fought and bled in his country's cause at the 
battle^ of Bennington " and "descended to the tomb with an 
unsullied reputation." In front of him curves asplendid ampi- 
theater of wooded hills, their forest covering almost unbroken, 
extending from Whitford's Rocks to the east to the high pin- 
nicale of quartz whieh glistens like a jewel in the sun above the 
present village of Cheshire. Behind him rise the slopes of the 
hill which he surveyed and helped to clear ami settle, great iields 
of pasturage, from which now almost every dwelling has dis- 
appeared, but rarely vexed with the plough, and trodden but 
seldom by any feet save those of lowing kine and bleating sheep. 
A great beech tree on the edge of the bank above the brook 
shades him from the morning sun, and so sequestered is the 
spot that at this moment a great golden winged woodpecker has 
her nest in a decayed portion of the tree, her notes the only 
sound but that of the rippling brook to break the absolute silence 
of his long home. A peaceful and appropriate resting place for 
the patriot and the pioneer, but one which might well receive 
some care from those who are enjoying the fruit of his labors 
and sacrifices of him and his associates. 

In this burial ground are found the monuments of a few of 
these men. Those of others have been removed to the newer 
ground in the present village of Cheshire. 

The following are the copies of all the inscriptions now 
remaining, commencing with that of Col. Joab Stafford which 
is found in the southeast corner of the ground : 

No. 1. In memory of Col. Joab Stafford, who fought and bled in his 

88 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Country's cause at the Battle of Bennington, August lGtli, 1777 ; who departed 

this life Nov. 2'3d, 1801, aged 73 years lie descended to the tomb with an 
unsullied reputation. 

No. 2. In memory of Daniel Bucklin, who was killed by lightning July 
26th, 1799, in the 15th year of his age The son of Darius and Hannah 

No 3. Erected in memory of George Brown, who departed this life Sept. 
17th, A. D. 1773, in the 23d year of his age. 

No. 4. In memory of Olive Brown, daughter of Daniel and (Jhloe Brown, 
who died Sept. 9th. 1776, aged 4.1 years. 

No. 5. In memory of Huldy Brown, daughter of Daniel and (Jhloe Blown, 
who died Jan'y 3d, 1780, aged 5 months. 

No. 6. In memory of George Brown, son of Daniel and (Jhloe Brown, 
who deceased Oct. 11, 1777, aged 4 years. 

No. 7. Erected in memory of Daniel Arnold, who departed this life in 
July, 1797, in the 3 1st year of his age. ' 

No. 8. Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Phebe Remington, wife of Co 1 . 
Jonathan Remington, who departed this life June 8th, 179.1, in the 37th year 
of her age. 

No. 9. In memory of Mariah, daughter of Allen B. and Hannah Green, 

who departed life April 10th, 1807, aged 18 months. 

In calm r :pose thy body lies, 
Thy spirit j^one aloft. 

No. 10. Sacred to the memory of Mary, widow of John Warren, who 
died March 8, 1813, in the 61st year of her age. 

No. 11. Sacred to the memory of Sarah, wife of Charles jWells and 
daughter of John and Mary Warren. Died August 31, 1828, in the 58th 
of her age. 

No. 12. Sacred to the memory of Guelma Pen, daughter of Charles and 
Sarah Wells, who died March 11, 1813, in the 8th year of her age. 

No. 13. Sacred to the memory of Nancy, daughter of Charles and Sarah 
Wells, who died June 10, 1793, in the 2d year of her age. 

No. 14. Erected in memory of Frances, Widow of John Wells, who died 
the 17th of the 7th month, 1842, in the 98th of her age. 

No, 15. Erected to the memory of John Wells, who died the 17th of the 
7th month, 1813, in the 69th year of his age 

No. 16. In memory of Elisha B. Wells, son of Elisha and Mary Wells, 
who died July 12th. 1815, in the 10th year of his age. 

No. 17. Sacred to the memory of Elisha Wells, son of John Wells, who 
departed this life April 29, 1822, in the 55th year of his age. 

Most of these were Quakers, and the quaint simplicity of the 
Quaker thought is shown in these inscriptions. 

About the John Wells, who died the 17th of the 7th month, 
1813, in the 09th year of his age, and Frances, his widow, who 
survived to the ripe age of 98 there is this tradition. Frances 
was a sister of Daniel Brown and the Browns were well-to-do 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 89 

people. John Wells had nothing but an honest heart, a clear 
head and a strong arm with which to make his way. They 
were married against the wishes of her family, and so distaste- 
ful was the match that she was refused even the smallest setting- 
ont. 80 with nothing but themselves and their love, the newly 
wedded pair, mounted upon one horse, and with no other 
worldly goods, made the journey from Rhode Island to New 
Providence. Another sister married Caleb Tibits, who also 
removed to New Providence, but remained only a short time, 
returning to the older settlement where he could enjoy more of 
the luxuries of life, lie took back the opinion that Mr. and 
Mrs. Wells would get along, as Wells had made a clearing, put 
up a log house, and had one cow. The years passed by. John 
*■** Wells worked his farm by daylight and made shoes by fire- 

light. Frances Wells managed the house and the dairy, and 
..earned money as a tailoress. They added farm to farm and 
accumulated money until when John died his estate was one of 
t the most considerable in Berkshire, and with all this both he 

and Frances had gained the respect of all. Meantime poor 
Caleb Tibets had wasted his substance, and it was found that 
the daughter, who had ridden portionless away behind her lover 
had made the better match. 

Leaving the quaint burial place, let us retrace our steps to the 
old Bennett house, one of the few original houses yet remain- 
ing, and follow the road leading from it to the north along the 
western side of the hill. We shall not pursue it a great dis- 
tance, before we shall cross the line of the southern boundary 
of the New Providence Purchase, the old north line of No. 4 
or Windsor, and a continuation easterly of the old north line of 
New Framingham or Lanesborough. It can be traced On the 
ground at present for miles to the westward until it disappears 
at the summit of the hill lying to the west of Cheshire. On 
our right rises the grassy slopes of Stafford hill, a few apple tree* 
on the Mmitntt Uciug -all that iwm \\w* point is wow \WMvMo 
indicate that it has been the site o\ a village. On the left rises 
Mount Amos, wooded on its northern slope, but smooth and 
clear on its southern, in whose maple forests the early settlers 
used to keep the sugar boiling while the wolves howled around 

90 Berks/tire Historical and Scientific Society. 

the fires in the night. Far below at the north the is Axlams 

valley and perhaps a mile in advance of you, if your eyes are 
keen, you can see rows of white stones by the road side. It is 
another of the resting places of these first settlers of New 
Providence. It occupies a little plateau with hut a gentle slope 
toward the west, the road sweeping around it down the hill. 
A dark and solemn spruce tree stands in the hack ground. It 
was here that these Rhode Islanders of the. Baptist denomina- 
tion planted their first church and set up the public worship of 
God. No trace remains upon the spot of the ancient building, 
nor any mark by which to fix its location, but tradition says 
that it was next to the road and that its site is now occupied by 
graves. The building, however, is now standing on the north- 
ern slope of the hill, to which it was removed, and where as a 
two-story red farm house it still does duty in the cause for 
which it was framed and raised. It has changed its uniform, 
but still does service in sustaining the preaching of the Word 
in the New Providence Purchase. 

Before we enter this village of the dead let us gather some- 
thing of the work which they who rest there did in the found- 
ation and maintainance of a church, which has been the thing 
that more than anything else, must have educated the men and 
women of Cheshire and moulded the life of the town. 

The New Providence Purchase not having been constituted 
as a district or township by itself, or included in the limits of 
any such community, was not under the obligation ordinarily 
imposed of devoting a portion of its hind to the support of the 
ministry, or of maintaining public worship. Whatever its 
inhabitants did in the cause of religion was, therefore, a free 
gift, and was done because of the moving of the Spirit. As 
before stated many of the more prominent of the early settlers 
were Baptists. They had no thought of escaping the burden of 
supporting public worship, and the story of the church which 
they founded is best told by its records. These records are in 
the possession of Mr. Shubael W. Lincoln, whose house in the 
extreme easternmost part of Cheshire on the mountain side 
opposite the north slope of the Stafford hill, looks across to 
Greylock Mr. Lincoln has gathered together many documents. 


Early Settlements in Cheshire. 91 

and relics of this early church and of its members and many a 
tradition of its early history. From him the writer learned the 
location of the first church and of the homes of several of the 

settlers, and most of the traditions given. 



"After sundry conference meetings hy the Christians (in New 
Providence) of the Baptist Denomination that freely receive the 
Old and New Testament as the only rule of their faith and 
practice, and finding themselves in some good measure agreed 
in the Laws and Ordinances of Christ's House. Believing it 
was their duty to unite in a public manner to maintain or keep 
the unity of the Spirit and execute the Laws of Christ by a 
faithful discharge of our duty to God and to one another in the, 
love of the Gospel, accordingly being met together on Aug. 2S, 
1769, consulted the standing of those present and finding a 
number that came from Coventry by the permission of the 
Church of Christ, there under the pastoral care of Elder Peter 
Werden to which they as members did belong having retained 
their unity with one another, it appeared that the church in her 
unity was begun. The same day received Jonathan and Mary 
••Richardson upon a letter of recommendation from their brethren 
at Newton. 

Likewise inquired into the standing of Elder Werden with 
regard to his standing with his brethren at Coventry. We were 
informed by Deacon Joseph Bueklin of Coventry, and by a 
letter certifying the state of the case. 

The letter is as followeth. A short narrative of facts relating 
to the state of religion with the people of the Church of Christ 
in Coventry of the Baptist Denomination: 

We take this method 'to inform you that our Elder Peter Werden has 
labored with us in the Gospel constantly for this twelve years past. And 
some part of the time successfully. Our beginnings was but small. The 
Lord blessed us with a happy increase. So that we was a few years ago a 
flourishing people in the cause of truth. But since that the Lord has been 
pleased to remove a number of the brotherhood by death. A considerable 
number more of the more compact part of the church have removed them- 
selves and families into other parts of the country. Some others have relen- 
quished the cause and people they once professed unity with. 

The few that remain for want of unity among themselves have thought 
best to desist their public attendance on the ordinance of the Lords supper 

92 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

at present. Our elder has all the time been somewhat low as to his outward 
surcomstances, his time mueh taken up in Publick Labour, his family some- 
what numerous so that notwithstanding his exereise at times at hand labour 
and the generous communieation of friends and brethren to his support yet 
he has been obliged for the subsistance of his family to involve himself As 
we believe AVariours should not be entangled with the affairs of this life, 
We have laboured for some months past to see if we might in unity free our 
Eld'r from these Intanglements, but we have laboured without success. 
Upon deliberate consideration of the above facts we cannot think it is agree- 
able to truth to require the service of our Eld'r in the relation of a pastor any 
longer. At the same time we freely assert that for the time he has been 
with us as a pastor and brother he has given evidence of the truth of his 
profession in love to God and man. 
Coventry, May 27th, A. D. 17G9. 
Signed severally by the Eld'r and brethren. 

Joseph Bucklin, Deacon. 
Peter Werden, Eld'r. 
Obediaii Johnson, 
Hezekiaii Hammond, 
Thomas Mateeson, 
Thomas Stafford. 
The above and within is a true copy Rec'd and compared by me. 

Thomas Matteson, Oh. Clerk." 

" Upon consulting this letter and the testimony of Deacon 
Bucklin in agreement thereto the church was fully satisfied 
with the character of the elder, and those brethren that came 
from Coventry, finding the brethren or church at Coventry to 
relinquish the claim to the elder insisted that their former rela- 
tion with the elder was not dissolved, and therefore requested 
his services as heretofore. The other brethren that had joined 
them freely requested the elder to come and serve the Church 
of Christ in New Providence in the capacity of an elder. The 
present inhabitants very generally joined their request. Elder 
Werden after deliberate consideration cheerfully complied with 
the church's request. Accordingly in March following came 
to the church and since has in Gospel fellowship presided with 
us as our elder. April 12, 1770, at a conference consulted a 
propel* time to celebrate the Lord's Supper. A\ r e cheerfully 
conclude to attend on that Ordinance on the first Lord's Day 
in every month, unless something special prevent, etc. * * 
" The Church of Christ in New Providence to Brother Joab 

Stafford : 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 93 

Whereas, You have for some time openly refused to walk 
in unity with- the brotherhood in this place and have neglected 
to attend church meetings when properly cited thereto to vindi- 
cate your charge against Brother Samuel Pettibone. We in 
the name of Christ admonish you to repentance and reforma- 
tion, and Ave do deny our fellowship with you until the fruit of 
your repentance becomes evident. 

Jonathan Richardson, Clerk." 

Feb. 27, 1777. 

" Tn 1779 Joab Stafford was restored by repentance." 

"a list of names of the brethren and sisters ok the first 

baptist church of christ at new providence. males 

and females that came from coventry. 

i .. men's names. women's names. 

Peter Werden, Elder. Mercy Werden, 
Joab Stafford, 

Samuel Low, Almy Low, 

Joseph Bennett, Uniee Bennett, 

John Day. Bety Read, 

John Lee, Deliverance Nichols, 

John Bvicklin. Martha Lee. 


men's names. women's names. 

Jonathan Richardson, Alary Richardson, 

John Eaton, Jeminie Wihnarth, Bapt. 
Eliakim Richmond, Bapt. July 5, 1770. July 5, 1770. 

Samuel Edey, Dority Wihnarth, 

Ezekiel Mighels, Margaret Mighels, 

\ Stephen Carpender, Almy Ourpender, 

Jeremiah Smith, Almy Allen, 

Lewis Walker, Bapt. Sept. a, 1772, Alary Brown, 

Barnabas Allen, Mary Wilmarth, 

Lazarus Ball. Hannah Worrin, 

Samuel Warren, Hannah Perkins, 

William Brown, Keziah Perkins, 

Moses Perkins, Amplias Jones, 

William Hanks, Elizabeth Prosser, 

Elisha llarinton, Hannah Broadway, 

Seth Warin, Jane Gallop, 

(Jeorge Badcock, Hannah Hanks, 

Llizer Phillips, Rachel Cluetin, 

Isaiah Lesure, Rachel Lesurc. 
Benjamin Preston. 

THIS PLACE, 1772. 

men's names. women's names. 

John Wilmarth, Jr., Bapt. Apr, 4, 1772. Lois Smith, 
Simon Smith, Esther Werden, 

Elihu Williams, Hannah Sceals, 


Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Samuel Streqtcr, 
Thomas Seeals, 

Richard Lewis, 
Stephen Clark, 
John Warrin, 
Nehemiah Richardson, 
Iehabod Prosser, 
Ephraim Wilinarth, 

Enos Jones, 
Benjamin Barker, 
Tilson Barrows, 
WHliam Williams, 
James James and wife, 
Comfort Cook, 
Eld'r Eben Jones, 
Israel Cool, 
Thomas Smith, 
Elisha Brings, 
John Hammond, 
Simeon Andres, 
Jonathan Rementon, 
Aaron Bowen, 
Benager Tubs 

Gideon Ilinman, 
Noah Hinman, 
Noah Murraugh, 
Samuel Pettabone, 
Richard Brodway, 
Jared Munson, 
Eber Murraugh, 
Joseph Ilaskill, 
Elezer Rodes, 
Israel Cole, 
James Dodge, 
Seth Jones, 
William Peters, etc. 

Unis Parkins, 
Ke/iah Eaton, 
Abigail Richardson, 
Daborah Brown, 
ITepzibah Howen, 
Lucende Werden, 
Ruth Hail, 
Deliverance Warren, 
Susanah Warren. 
Hannah Lesure, 
Rachel Lesure, 
Ruth Chase, 
Persa Chase, 
Elener Cook, 

Susanna Cook, Rec. 1778, 
Phoebe Nichols, Rec. Doc. 4, 1788. 
Sarah Bennett, Rec. Jan. 30, 1789. 
Jane Bucklin. 
Ruth Carpenter, Rec. 178G 
Elvine Andres, Rec. June G, 1789. 
Anna Hammond, Rec. Oct. 3, 1789. 
Esther Carpenter, 

DeliveranceRichardson. R. Apr. 1 ,1790 
Lucy Bowen, Rec. July 1, 1790. 
Marty Brown, Rec. Mar. 31, 1791. 
Susannah Bowen, 
Sarah Richman, 
Phebe Richmond, 
Rachel Smith, 
Esther Richardson, 
Judith Richmond, 
Hannah James, 
Abigail Thayer, 
Azuba Murraugh, 
Thankful Hanks, 
Sister Burden, etc." 

There are about 500 members whose names appear on the 

Elder Peter Werden continued to be the pastor of the church 
for nearly forty years, until his death on the 21st of February, 
1 SOS. He was a remarkable man, somewhat unlettered perhaps, 
but full of grace and zeal, and actuated by love of God and 
man. His epitaph is said to have been composed by himself 
before he left Coventry. The discipline of his church was 
strict and it cannot be doubted that its work was of the utmost 
importance to the well being of the community. Pie was sup- 
ported in this wise ; and from this instance of the unbroken 
service rendered for more than a century by a modest donation 
to religious uses, the charitably inclined may take courage. 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 95 

As wc have seen, the proprietors of the purchase were not 
obliged to devote a part of it the support of religion, lint 
Nicholas Cook and Joseph Bennet learning that a church had 
been thus founded at New Providence, by a (\^a(\ of which tin; 
following is a copy, helped the good cause along. 

"To all People to whom these Presents shall come : We, Nicholas 
Cooke, of Providence, in the County of Providence and Colony of Rhode 
Island Esq, and Joseph Bennet of a place called New Providence in the 
County of Berkshire and province of the Massachusetts Bay Esq., send 
Greeting : Know ye that we the said Nicholas Cooke and Joseph Bennet for 
the promoting piety virtue and Religion do freely give grant and convey unto 
Colonel Joab Stafford of the same place called New Providence and to his 
heirs and assigns forever. Fifty acres of land lying in said New Providence 
and to be taken oil; from ihe northeast part of number four in the Plan 
thereof drawn by the said Joab Stafford which said Fifty acres is butted and 
bounded as i'olloweth, to-wit : Easterly on the lot number live One Hundred 
rods, South* rly on part of said lot number four, Eighty rods, Westerly also on 
part of said lot number four One Hundred rods and northerly on a highway 
Eighty rods. To have and to hold the said given and granted premises 
unto him the said Joab Stafford his heirs and assigns forever in TRUST for 
the use and purpose following, that is to say, as a ministerial lot, or a glebe 
land for the better support and maintenance of the first Anabaptist Minister 
of the Gospel who shall be duly ordained and settled according to Law over 
the Anabaptist Society or Congregation in New Providence aforesaid (or by 
whatsoever name the same place may be called) and also for the better sup- 
port and maintenance of each and all his successors, for the time being- 
forever, who shall be duly ordained to the Pastoral Care of said Anabaptist 
Society Church or Congregation and shall hold and possess the princi- 
ples of the Annabaptists during their several and respective Ministries or 
pastoral Care of said Church or Society. Provided always that if the said 
Land or the Rents profits and Incomes thereof should at any time hereafter 
be converted to any other use or purpose whatever than what is afore spec- 
ified or should be in any manner misapplied or preverted contrary to the 
true intent and meaning of these presents than the said Fifty acres of Land 
with all the improvements thereon shall revert and return to the said Nicho- 
las Cooke and Joseph Bennet, their heirs and assigns to be held and enjoyed 
by them forever in fee simple as their former estate. In witness whereof 
we have hereunto set our hands and seals the seventeenth day of January 
One thousand seven hundred and seventy 1770. 

Signed sealed and delivered in presence of us, 
Ben.i. Cusiiing, Jun'r, Peter Wekden, ) Nicholas Cooke and seal. 
Petek Wekden, Samcel Low. \ Josepu Bennet and seal. 

Providence, ss : at Providence the 18 day of January A. D. 1770. Per- 
sonally appeared Nicholas Cooke Esq'r the signer and sealer of this instru- 
ment and acknowledged the same to be his voluntary act and deed hand and 
seal before me. 

A. Alwell, Just, of Peace. 

9G Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Berkshire, ss : Sept. 5, 1771, Joseph Bennet Esq'r the Grantor in this 
instrument acknowledged the same to he his act and deed. 

Coram Mark Hopkins, Just. Paes. 
Sept. 5, 1771 Reed and Recorded from ye original. 

M. Hopkins, Reg. 
Record Copy Bk 8, Page 774 ami part of 775. 

On January 17th, 1 T7<>, was tints deeded 50 acres of their best 
land on the northern slope of the hill to Joab Stafford in trust 
as a ministerial lot or glebe land for the support of a preacher 
of the Anabaptist denomination. Upon this land lived Elder 
Peter Werden, and from it he obtained his subsistence. He 
was succeeded in the ministry by Elder Braman, and he by 
Elder Bloss, described as a stirring, practical man, under whose 
administration the old church building was removed to the 
glebe land, a new chnrch having been some time before erected 
on the top of the hill, where was a flourishing and beautiful vil- 
lage, the first village of Cheshire. It had besides the chnrch, its 
post office and its Masonic Lodge. Of all the buildings which 
then crowned the summit of the hill, not one remains. The 
new chnrch decayed and fell, and most of the farm houses have 
been removed to Adams. After a time the chnrch organiza- 
tion became moribund. Elder John Leland supplied the pulpit 
for some time, but was never settled as pastor of the church. 
Elder Sweet also preached there. After the destruction of the 
new chnrch building, however, a claim was made by the heirs 
of the donors of the glebe that the conditions of the dmid 
of trust had been broken and its land forfeited. This claim 
was successfully resisted in the Courts and Shubael W. Lincoln 
appointed Trustee, lie now holds the trust, and applies the 
income of the 50 acres to the support of preaching in a school 
honse in the vicinity, looking hopefully for the time when he 
may see a tasteful chapel again crowning the old hill. 

Let us enter the sacred ground and spend a few moments 
with the pastor and his Hock. 

lint we must first record an episode of their work and discip- 
line which throws light on the manner of men they were and 
the views they held. 

Col. Samuel Low was one of .the most wealthy and promi- 
nent of those who founded the settlement and the church. His 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 97 

residence was nearest to its site. In 1703 he was entrusted with 
the duty of raising a lottery to raise and grade the streets of 
Providence in Rhode Island. In New Providence lie owned 
slaves — four at least. William Dinioii and Molly Dinion and 
their two children, one of whom was Antony. Ahout 1 T t M ) he 
removed to Palatine, New York, having freed old William and 
Molly, but taking Antony and the girl with him. lla after- 
ward applied to the church for a letter of dismissal, hut it was 
refused unless he would free the slaves. A long correspon- 
dence between him and Elder Werden ensued of which this is 
a sample : 

" Dear Brother : — We received your letter and the brethren hath heard it 
red. That part that concerns Antoney and it doth not serve our minds ; our 
minds is that your duty was to have set him at liberty at the age of twenty- 
one which was about a year ago, and as to the bills of costs that you speak of 
you and he must settle that yourselves. We look upon it we have nothing 
to do in that matter. We wish you very dear brother to attend to the prop- 
k Osition you mentioned all men are born free. Therefore our request and 

desire is you liberate him emediately to ease our Sister and us of our pain as 
we we thinK it will dishonor our profession if it is not dun. * * * 

Adams, .March 2, 171)2." 

The copy among the files of the church is thus endorsed : 

"A copy of a letter sent to brother Samuel Low at Palatine, N. Y." 

And it may be well here to refer to a brief account of Elder 
Werden given by Elder John Leland in his works. Elder i\ 319. 
Leland removed to Cheshire in 1701. Besides the church of 
which we are speaking there were at that time two others, one 
called the Six principle church, making the laying of hands a 
a prerequisite to communion, and the other, with which Elder 
Leland united, which had dissented from the Six principle 
Church, and was called the Second Baptist Church, and is said Lelaud's 
to have contained about seventy members, and all these churches 
belonged to what was called the Shaftesbury Association. 

This sketch seems from its expressions to have been delivered 
at the funeral of Elder Werden : 



who died at Cheshire, on Lord's day, the 21st of Feb., 1808. The funeral 
was attended the Wednesday following by a large assembly of people. An 
appropriate discourse was delivered on the occasion, from Acts xiii. 30, 37, 

Works, n. :»G. 

98 Hci']\\shu'e Historical and Scientific Society. 

by the Rev. John Lclautl ; at the close of which, the following lines were 

exhibited : 

Howl, lir tree, for the cedar is fallen ! 

Help, Lord, for the godly eeaseth ; for the righteous is taken away from among men. 
My Father, my Father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof, Let me die 
the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. 

Elder Werden was born June Gth, 1728, and ordained to the work of the 
ministry, at Warwick, Rhode Island, May, 1751, in the 24th year of his age. 
When he first began to preach, he was too much of a New-light, and too 
strongly attached to the doctrine of salvalion by sovereign grace, to be gen- 
erally received among the old Baptist Churches in Rhode Island, which had 
been formed partly upon the Armenian plan, until the following event opened 
the door for him. A criminal by the name of Carter, was executed at Tower 
hill. This occasion collected abundance of people from all parts of the 
State. While the criminal stood under the gallows, young Werden felt such 
a concern for his soul, that he urged his way through the crowd ; and being- 
assisted by the sheriff, he gained access to Carter and addressed him as fol- 
lows : " Sir, is your soul prepared for that awful eternity, into which you 
will launch in a few minutes V The criminal replied. " 1 don't know that 
it is, but I wisli you would pray for me." In this prayer, Mr. Werden was 
so wonderfully assisted in spreading the poor man's case before the throne 
of God, that the whole assembly were awfully solemnized and most of Ihem 
wet their cheeks with their tears. This opened a great door for his minis- 
trations, both on the Main and on the Island. He preached at Warwick, 
Coventry, and many other places with good success, about nineteen years 
and then moved in 1776, into this place, where he has lived and administered 
almost thirty-two years. In his first religious exercises, he was led to dig- 
dee]) into his own heart where, he found such opposition and rebellion, that 
When lie obtained pardon, he attributed it to sovereign grace alone ; which 
sentiment, so interwoven in his own soul, he ever proclaimed aloud to a 
dying world. Nothing appeared to be more disgustful to his mind, than 10 
hear works and grace mixed together, as the foundation of a sinner's hope. 
To hold forth the lamb of God as a piece of a Saviour ; or to consider the 
self exertions of a natural man, to be the way unto Christ, the true and only, 
were extremely displeasing to that soul of his, which delighted so much in 
proclaiming eternal love, redeeming blood, and matchless grace. Sound 
judgment, correct principles, humble demeanor, with solemn sociability, 
marked all his public improvements, and mingled with all his conversation 
in smaller circles, or with individuals. In him, young preachers found a 
father and a friend ; distressed churches, a healer of breaches ; and tempted 
souls a sympathizing guide. From his first coming into this place, until he 
was seventy years old, he Avas a father to the Baptist Churches in Berkshire 
and its environs, and in some sense an apostle to them a'l. His painful 
labors for the salvation of sinners, the peace of the churches, and purity of 
the ministers, will never be fully appreciated, until the time when he shall 
stand before his Judge, and hear thewordsof his mouth, '-.Well done, good 
and faithful servant." The character which 1 have drawn of the life and 
labors of the man, who now lies sleeping in death before our eyes, many of 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 09 

you know to bo true. From the sternness of his eyes and the blush of 
his face, a stranger would have been led to conclude that he was sovereign 
and self-willed in his natural habit of mind, but on acquaintance, the physiog- 
nomist would have been agreeably disappointed. He had so much self- 
government, that he lias been heard to say, that, exeept when he had the 
. small-pox, he never found it hard to keep from speaking at any time, if his 
reason told him it was best to forbear ; and no man possessed liner feelings, 
or treated the character of others with more delicacy than he did. He had 
an exalted idea of the inalienable rights of conscience; justly appreciated 
the civil rights of man, and was assiduous to keep his brethren from the 
chains of ecclesiastical power. His preaching was both sentimental and devo- 
tional ; and his life so far corresponded with the precepts which he taught, 
that none of his hearers could justly reply, "Physician heal thyself." A 
number of revivals have taken place in the town and congrega'ion where he 
has resided and preached, and a number of ministers have been raised up in 
the church of which he was pastor. For about ten years his physical and 
mental powers have been on the decline, and how many times have we heard 
him rejoice, that others increased though he decreased ; but his superannua- 
tion was not so great as to prevent the whole of his usefulness, and his hoary 
head was a crown of g'ory unto him. A number of times he has been heard 
to pray, that he might not outlive his usefulness, which has been remark- 
• ably answered in his case, for the Sunday before he died, he preached to the 

people — he preached his last. The disease which closed his mortal life, 
denied his friends the solemn pleasure of catching the balm of life from his 
lips, in his last moments. He had finished his work before, and nothing 
remained for him to do but to die. Socrates, the patient philosopher, said to 
have never been angry in his life, when dying, was vexed. The cause was 
this : his pupils asked him what he would have them do with his body after 
he was dead. To whom he sternly replied, " Have I been so long with you, 
and taught you no better ? After I am dead, what you see will not be 
Socrates. Socrates will then be among the gods. The improvement which 
I now make on the words of this philosopher is this : what we see here lying 
before our eyes, is not Werden, this is but tin; shell. His soul is now among 
the angels and saints in light, before the throne of glory. 1 will not say 
that his soul is under the altar with others, crying "How long, (), Lord, 
holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that 
dwell on the earth," because he did not olfer his life on the altar of martyr- 
dom ; but 1 have an unshaken belief that his soul has left all its tribulation, 
being washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb, and is now basking 
in the sun beams of immortal noon. Let the inhabitants of Cheshire relh-ct 
a moment on the dealings of God toward them. Within about three years, 
three ministers belonging to Cheshire, have departed this life. The pious 
Mason took the lead — the pleasing Covell followed after — and now the 
arduous Werden, who has been in the ministry a longer term than any Bap- 
tist preacher left behind in New England, has finished his course, in the 
eightieth year of his age, while Lcland remains alone; to raise this monument 
over their tombs." 

100 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

(Copy from the writings of Elder John Leland, pages 319, 320 and 321.) 
AVe will not longer delay to enter the sacred ground, and 

read the inscriptions which tell of the lives and deaths of the 

pastor and his flock. 

The inscriptions are as follows, commencing with the east 

line at the south end, the letters indicating the rows and the 

numbers the position : — 

i A. in memory of Elizabeth B. daughter of Ephriam and Experience Fisk, 

who died Augt. 20th, 1838 ; aged 2G years. 

We trust her soul has gone 
To dwell with Christ above, 
There she will sing His praise 
Of everlasting love. 

2 A. In memory of Julia A., daughter of Ephraim and Experience Fisk, who 

died Augt, 24th, 1835 ; aged 18 years. 

The rosea Bloom but to decay. 
While sweetest odors from them rise, 
Thus pass the Mower of life away 
To happiness beyond the skies. 

3 A. In memory of Experience, wife of Ephraim Fisk, who died Oct. 9th, 1838, 

aged 44 years. 

Blessed be thy slumbers in the hours of day, 
And bright thy rising in the eternal day. 

4 A. (down Amy M.. wife of II. Rowland and daughter of Ephraim and Experience 
and broken.) j,.^ (lj( . (1 July g^ jgo,^ agvd lg yeurs 

Stop my friend, o, take another view, 

The dust that moulders here 

Was once beloved like you, 

No longer then on future lime rely. 

Improve the present and prepare to die. 

5 A. (down Ephraim Franklin, son of Ephraim and Experience Fisk, died June 6th, 

aIul broken) 1823, aged 11 mo. 

This beauteous bud so young and fair, 
In paradise nii^ht bloom. 

G A. Lydia E, daughter of Ephraim and Experience Fisk, died Feb'y 14th, 

1823, aged 17 years. 

The lovely youth in early bloom 
Are summoned to the silent tomb, 
l.ike flowers of spring they pass away 
And slumber in the silent day. 

7 A. This monument is erected to the memory of Harriet Melvina and Eliza 

Molvora, twin daughters of Anthony and Sally 8. Burton. Eliza M., died 
Jan, 20, 1822, aged 14 years and G mo., Harriet M. died Oct. 17, 1823, aged 
15 years and 3 mo. 

K A. William Towner, son of Anthony and Sally S. Burton, died Oct. 11, 1818. 

aged 1 year and 11 mo. 

da. Died on the 31st of Oct., 1802, Daniel, son of. Anthony 'and Sally S. Bur- 

ton, aged 11 months. 

As fades the before its bloom is grown, 
So fade— * * * 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 101 

James Dewane, son of Anthony and Sally S. Burton, died August 25, jo a. 

1823, aged 14 mos. 

In memory of Hepzibah, daughter of Joseph and Laura Burton, who died |j a. 

April 11th, 1815, aged 18 months and 11 days. 

In memory of Betty Head, wife of Joshua, who died Sept. 8th, 1815. i~ A. 

aged 82 years. 

In memory of Hannah Haskins, daughter of Joshua llaskins and Lydia, 18 A. 

his wife, was horn in Taunton, June 28th, 174G, and died Oct. 

Mrs. Chloe Hoot, died Nov. 19, 1795, in the 50th year of her age. 14 A. 

In memory of Martha Mason, consort of Barnard Mason, who died March 15 B. 

12, 1822, aged 42 years, 4 months and 23 days. 

All readers that now pass by, 
As you are now, so once was I, 
As I am now, so you must be, 
Prepare for death and follow me. 

Norman I., son of Shubael W. and Adaline Wells, died August 17th, 182G, , lfl C 

aged 3 years. 

Sacred to the memory of Lydia Fisk, consort of Col. Francis Fisk, who it c. 

departed this life October 20th. 1820, aged 37 years, 9 mos. and 15 days. 

Death with its unbounded sway 
Hath swept my favorite and bosom friend away, 
But, oh, why should 1 murmur or complain, 
My earthly and mortal loss is her eternal gain. 

In memory of William P., son of Francis and Lydia Fisk, who died May 18 C. 

7th, 1817, aged 13 years, 5 months and 23 days. 

Thus fades the flower ere 'tis bloom, 

So lades our hopes and withers in the tomb. 

Sacred to the memory of Lydia Fisk, who departed this life July 22, 1819, is C. 

in the 60th year of her age. 

Sweet is the hour that brings the pilgrim rest, 
And calls the laborer to her peaceful home. 

This monument is erected to the memory of Ephrahn Fisk, who departed 19 0. 

this life March 19, 1813, in the 62 year of his age. 

Death unto me is goodness, 
To it 1 am composed, 
My soul to Christ the living 
I trust will ever be enclosed. 

Sacred to the memory of Lydia Fisk. who departed this life Oct. 2, 1804, 30 O. 

aged 14 years, 2 mo. and 7 d. Her death was occasioned by a fall from an 
horse. This drops the lily that is mature ! She was the daughter of Eph- 
rahn and Lydia Fisk. 

Fphraim, son of Shubael and Judith C. Wilmarth, died Sept. 3, 1810, in 21 O. 

his 24 lb year. 

Capt. Sliubeal W. Wells, Cheshire, died Nov. G, 1848, in his 51st year. 23 D. 

Dearest father thou hast left us, 
And thy loss was deeply felt, 
Hut 'tis God that hath bereft us. 
lie can all our sorrows heal. 

Adline, wife of Shubael W. Wells, died Dec. 25th, 1825, aged 27 years. 
Sacred to tlie memory of Olarisa, consort of Henry Wilmarth, who de- 
parted this life October 4th, 1812, in the 24th year of her age. 

24 D. 

25 D. 

102 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

26 D. Sacred to the memory of Maity, consort of Henry Wilmarth, who departed 

this life May 24, 1811, in the 25th year of her age. 

27 I). In memory of Ephraim, son of Capt. Shubael Wilmarth and Molly his 

-wife, who departed this life June 16th, 1785, in 

2H I). In memory of Molly, wife of Capt. Shubael Wilmarth, who departed this 

Oct. 2, 1790, in the 48th year of her age. 
09 i). Sacred to the memory of Capt. Shubael Wilmarth, who departed this life 

Oct. 80th, 1809, in the 70th year of his age. 

30 D. in memory of Hannah, wife of Shubael Wilmarth, Esq'r, who died May 

2d, 1820, aged 84 years. 

31 E. In memory of Ainey, wife of Stephen Carpenter, who died 6th of Sept., 

1785, in the 45th year of her age. Ruth his second wife, who died April 5th, 
1789, in the 37th year of her age. Ruth, their daughter, died 15th of Feb'y, 
1789, aged 9 mos. George his son died in Dearlield, Oneida County, N. Y., 
27 of August. 1808, in the 29th year of his age. 

32 E. This monument is erected in memory of Stephen Carpenter, who died Feb 

5th, 1815, in ye 75th year of his age. He was ordained Deacon of the First 
Baptist Church in Cheshire, July 1st, 1783, and continued to fill the office 
with honor to himself and to the Christian religion. 

33 e Sacred to the memory of Capt. Phillip Mason, who departed this life July 

21, 1813, in the G9th year of his age, (Inscript.) 

31 E. Sacred to the memory of Mary Mason, who departed this life Oct. 30, 

1808, in the (54th year of her age. 

Death was to me no penal stroke, 
But was a sweet repose, 
My soul's with Christ, the eternal roek, 
My day shall never close. 

85 P. In memory of Allen Brown, Esq., who died Dec. 8, 1820, in the 51st year 

of his age. 

Alas thou art gone, forever gone, 
Deep iu thy silent sleep 
And long shall friendship's bosom mourn, 
And faithful memory weep. 

30 F. (f.mced) l n memory of Rebecca Converse, who died Sept. 25th, 1835, aged G7 years. 

37 P. (fenced) This monument is erected to the memory of Capt. Charles Converse, who 
died Jan'y 31, 1830, in the o7th year of his age. (Inscript.) 

38 F. (fenced) In memory of Rebecca C. Luther, wife of Royal P. Luther, whodied Jan. 
0, 1822. aged 17 years, 8 months and 12 days. 
Kebeeca has tfone, ete. 

30 a. Here lies the body of Peter Werden, late pastor of the Church in Cheshire. 

He was born June 6th, 1728. Converted by the mighty power of God to the 

Lord .Jesus Christ, May 9th, 1748. In the month of May, 1751 he was or- 

(hiined to the work of the ministry in Warwick and continued measurably 

faithful in his pastoral charge to the close of his which was Feb'y 21, 1808. 

His soul to (Jod lie us'd to send 
To cry for ?;race for foe and friend, 
Hut blessed be the (Jod of hove, 
Dis soul is now with Christ above, 
This crumbling sculpture keeps the clay 
That used to house his noble mind. 
But at the resurrection day, 
A nobler body he shall find. 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 103 

In memory of Col. Peter Werden, who was born March 5th, 1761. His ,0 (i 

earthly existence was terminated Dec. 5, 1810, being in the 50th year of his 

While here in dust his ashes rust, 

His sacred memory shall be blest ; 

All titles fade and friendship dies, 

Hut virtue lives beyond the skies. 

In memory of Clarissa A. Werden, daughter of Aldm and Cldoe Werden, 11 (i. 

who died Dec. 19, 1811, aged 6 mos. 

This lovely bud so young and fair, 
Called hence by early doom ; 
Had time to show how sweet a flower 
For paradise could bloom. 

Lucinda, daughter of Mr. James and Mrs. Renuncey Blown, died March 13 <;. 

2, 1810, aged 14 months and 7 days. 

Sacred to the memory of Joseph L., son of Dexter and Lucy Mason, who .43 G. 

died April 24th, 1810, in the 3d year of his age. 
Sleep, sweetest babe, etc. 

Dolly, wife of Nicholas Brown, died March 11, 1840, in her 77th year. n II. 

In memory of Sarah C, daughter of Homer and Mary LJ. Wilmarth, who 45 I. 

died Jan 11, 18:31, aged G mos. 

In memory of Joseph Manchester, who died Nov. 13, 1824, in the 28th 46 I (broken 

J l and down, 

year of his age. 

Alas, thou art gone, forever gone 
Deep in thy silent sleep, 
And long shall friendship's bosom mourn, 
And faithful memory weep. 

Sacred to the memory of Doct'r William Jenekes, who departed this life 47 I. 

Oct. 29th, 1794, in the 39th year of his age. 

Rest, precious dead beneath this mound which the lorn mourners raiseth 
here — while lisping orphanage around pour forth the filial tribute dear. Can 
this dust live. Blind nature cries — the Gospel answers, yes, when Christ 
descends, the saints shall rise and hail, etc. 

Frcelove, daughter of Joseph Brown, and successive consort of William jg i. 

Jenks and David Cushing (Physicians of Cheshire, who here rest from their 
labors) Born Dec. 17. 1704, Died suddenly .March 3, 1843, in her 79th 

In memory of Doct'r David dishing, who departed this life Sept. 31, 4'J I. 

1814, in the 47th year of his age. 

The lragile man is passing swift awuy 
And monumnents of brass and stone decay, 
On friendship's tablet shall thy memory last 
Till time is o'er and rec"llecti'<n past. 

In memory of Lucy, wife of Benj. Brown, who died October the 17th, r.u \. 

1794. aged 29 years. Also in memory of Narcissa and Orrisa and Benja- 
daughters and son of Benj. and Lucy Brown. Narcissa died March 11, 1787, 
aged 5 mos., Orrisa born March the 13, 1790, age 2 years, Benj. born Au- 
gust the 21, 1794. 

In memory of Benjamin Brown, who departed this life Sept. 22, 1809, bi I. 

aged 43 years. 

Friends and physicians could not save, etc. 

104: Berks/lire Historical and Scientific Society. 

52 I. In memory of Joseph Brown, who died the 9th of January, 1807, in the 

80th year of his age. 

53 r. (down In memory of widow Ilopestill Brown, who died Sept. 21; 18 1 5, in the 
and broken) 89th year of hcr aga 

54 I. In memory of Joseph, son of Timothy and Chloe Mason, who died Sept, 

29, 1700, aged 19 years and 2 days. 

55 I. Sacred to the memory of John Mason, who departed this life June 17th, 

1810, in the 40*h year of his age. 

Behold and see as you pass by, 
As you are now, so once was I, 
As I am now, so must you be, 
Prepare for death and follow me. 

A 55 J. In memory of Julia Gushing, born July 20, 1808 and died June 30, 1820 

50 J. (down In memory of Mrs. Nancy Briggs, wife of Capt. Allen Briggs, who died 

and broken) ^ A(lums 1)ec ^ lglg .^ 5Q ' 

O, death, thou hast conquered me, 
But thy reign shall have an end. 
For I know that my Redeemer lives 
And in him I trust to deliver me 
From the dark prison of the ^rave. 

57 J. Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Chloe Mason, consort of Timothy Mason, 

who departed this life March 5th, 1812, in the 60th year of her age. 

5S J. Timothy Mason, died Dec. 24, 1832, ae. 87. 

50 K. Juliett, wife of Luke Denison, died Dee. 23, 1843, in the 38d year of her 


oo K. Sacred to the memory of Elijah, son of Simeon and Chloe Gulf, who de- 

parted this life July 20, 1812. 

6i k. In memory of Isaac Hathaway, who was born July 20th, 1720 and de- 

parted this life December 25th, 1708. (Red Sandstone.) 

go k. In memory of Pluebe, the wife of Isaac Hathaway, who died August 18th, 

1785, aged 51 years, and had been the mother of 10 children, 13 of which 
were living at her death. 

Descending- from this village of the dead toward the south- 
west, thence pass around Mount Amos, and overlook the valley in 
which is the present flourishing village of Cheshire. This vil- 
lage lies in the valley of the lioosac, and is in that part of the 
town formerly Lanesborongh. There was very early a road 
following the stream and leading from the center of the County 
to East IloOsac. Crossing this a road over the foot-hills. of 
Greyloek from Lanesborough, and the present village has 
grown up around the four corners made by the intersection of 
these roads. When the New Providence Hill was populous 
and nourishing it is said that there was hut a single house 
where the present village stands. 

It is difficult to trace the early settlement of this portion of 
the town, at least without more time than the present writer 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 105 

Las been able to devote to the task. The settlers were citizens 
of a large town the social and political center of which was over 
the hill to the west. They differed from the most of their 
fellow-citizens in religions belief; and in the early records of 
the Six Principle Church and the Second Baptist Church 
would probably be the richest field for investigation into their 
names and acts. 

Elisha Brown, of Warwick, seems to have been the earliest 
to remove, his deed of Lot No. 4G in the 2d Division, North 
range, bearing date October 6, 1768, while Daniel Brown, of 
Warwick, the more prominent man and largest land-holder 
bought No. 45 in the following March. John Tibitfe, also of 
Warwick, took the North Lot No. TO in April, 1761), and 
Abeather Angel, of Scituate, R. L, the Easternmost Lot G3 in 
Sept., 1771. Thomas Matteson, of Warwick, the West Lot 52 
in the 2d Division in May, 1772, and James Barker, of Mid- 
dletown, R. L, and John Barker of Newport, R. L, brothers, 
parts of lots 21 and 70, June 9, 1773, and Benjamin Ellis, of War- 
wick, Lot 11 in February, 1771. In the same .section were John 
Lyon, who came from Fairfield, Ct. in April, 1770, and his son, 
afterward Dr. John Lyon, of Cheshire, who was born at Danbnry, 
Ct. in 1756, and who must have removed to Berkshire with his 
father. The son of John Lyon is said to have been one of the 
Berkshire boys at the battle of Bennington, lie lived for many 
years in the low gambrel roofed house nnder the great elms at the 
forks of the road near the crossing of the Kitchen brook in the 
south part of the present village. James Barker, who had been 
one of the Court of Assistants in Rhode Island, and was made 
one of the Justices of Common Pleas in Berkshire soon after his 
removal to the County, lived on the spot now occupied by the 
widow of Noble Iv. Wolcott, just north of Dr. Lyon's, lie 
seems to have been an active man in public affairs, and wasone 
of the early registers of deeds in the Northern Registry Dis- 
trict, and the first Town Clerk of Cheshire upon its incorpora- 
tion as a town. In the Probate office are many wills of his 
drafting, in a handwriting closely resembling that of the pres- 
ent clerk of the Courts. In his practice of Justice of the 
Peace and neighborhood counsellor, he seems to have been sue- 

100 Berkshire Historical cond Scientific Society. 


eeeded by his son Ezra to whom he willed his homestead, and 

who was known to a later generation of Cheshire people as "the 

old squire." James Barker died in 1796. 

John Barker, who came with him from Rhode Island, re- 
moved from Cheshire in 1780, with his family and several of 
neighbors, intending to settle in Killingly, Vermont, but died 
upon the journey at Woodstock. His family returned to Berk- 
si lire. These men were descendants of the James Barker who 
is named as one of the grantees of the Rhode Island Charter 
from King Charles II. 

The inventory of the estate of John tiled in the Probate 
Court after the return of the family from Vermont, shows the. 
kind of property which these early settlers carried with them 
in their removals to new countries. 

We have thus sketched, roughly and too hastily some notes 
of the early settlements and settlers of one of our quiet Berk- 
shire towns, and will close by mentioning yet another of its 
early burial places. 

This one lies almost, or quite in the edge of Lanesborongh, 
on the road which skirts the hills, and overlooks the beautiful 
lake which now is made to overflow the banks of the Hoosac. 
A great rock rises in the center of the ground, and noble maples 
shade it from the sun. It teaches us as do the others we have 
noticed, that if these old pioneers loved freedom and were de- 
vout, they loved beauty also, and made homes for their dead in 
spots hallowed as well by the outlook and surroundings, as to 
the use to which they were devoted. 

The following is a plan of the ground and a copy of the 

Early Settlements in Cheshire. 


Road. N. 





[Old burial ground in Cheshire on the west side of the road from Lanes- 
borough north of Pettibonc place, visited and inscriptions copied, May 25, 
1879. by James M. Barker.] 

Tn memory of Mr. Jonathan Pettibone, who died Oct. 16, 1821, in the 92 
year of his age. 

Dear friends be wise in time to know 
The fading state of things below, 
Let every moment as it Hies 
Direct your thoughts above the skies. 

In memory of Jonathan Pettibone, who died June G, 1813, aged. 73 years. 
Sarah, wife of Amos Pettibone, died Aug. 31, 1847, aged 83 years and 6 

Amos Pettibone died Sept. 23, 1850, aged 89 yr's and G months. 
Daniel Pettibone. died Dec. 2G, 1848, ae. 51 yr's. 

The dying moment is at hand, 
The grace, oh, Lord, 1 crave 
That I may boast at Thy command, 
The victory o'er the grave. 

In memory of Pilo Pettibone, who died Feb. 16, 1821. in the 5G year of 
her age. 

In memory of Lucy Pettibone, wife of Philo Pettibone, who departed this 
life June 22, 1835, in the 65th year of her age. 

Laura Potter, wife of Peleg Potter, died June 18th, 1833, in the 38th year 
of her age. 

In memory of Prances Jane, daughter of Joseph and Mary Stevens, who 
died March 21st, 1821, aged 2 years, 1 month and 8 days. 

In memory of Warren Southworlh, who died August 13th, 1841, in the 
72d year of his age. 

In memory of Pamela, wife of Warren Southworth, died Aug. 3, 182G, in 
the 59th year of her age. 

108 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

In memory of Mrs. Louisa Southworth, wife of Mr. Warren Southworth, 
Esq'r, who died July 28, A. D. 1811, in the 39tli year of her age. 

In memory of Mrs. Mary Southworth, wife of Mr. Warren Southworth,. 
Esq'r, who died July 1st, A. D. 1814, in the 40th year of her age. 

In memory of Miss Mary Southworth, daughter of Mr. Warren and Mrs. 
Louise Southworth, who died Feb. 7th, 1809, in the 15th year or her age. 

Clarissa, wife of Stephen Wheeler, died Oct. 9, 1850, age (>4. 

I am sad and lonely now, mother, 
The world to me seems drear, 
For since you died my weary soul 
In sorrow lingers here. 

Almha K, Dau. of Jacob W. and Mary Wheeler, died Sept. 27, 1850, ae. 
15 mos. 

Too bright for earth she's gone to heaven. 

Lodema, daughter of Phillip P. and Martha Porter, died April 11, 1841, 
ae. 4 years. 

Charles, died April 23, 1838, aged 4 years. Sylvester, died April 27, 1838, 
aged 5 years. Children of Phillip P. and Martha Porter. 

Sumner, son of Philip P. and Martha Porter, died Oct. 18, 1882, ae. 18 

Nelson, son of Phillip P. and Martha Porter, died June 18th. 180G, aged 
18 years, 4 ins. and 9 days. 

Lucy M., wife of JosephSimmons, died Oct. 23, 1841, ae. 35 y'rs, 5 mos. 

Book of Berkshire. 


Historical and Scientific Society. 






The members and patrons of the Berkshire Historical and Scientific So- 
ciety will receive herewith the third number of its principal papers. With 
the fourth number, whose issue may be expected in about a year, the first 
volume will be completed ; and the separate numbers are and will be so 
printed and paged, as to be conveniently bound together into volumes, which 
will bear the general title, Book of Berkshire. 

It is thought, that the papers now presented to the public, all of which 
have been read at the Quarterly meetings of the Society, of which the last 
held was the Fiftieth, will not fall below in point of interest and importance 
those heretofore published. Dr. Smith's paper on " Medicine in Berkshire," 
traverses hitherto unbroken ground; and he kindly promises a future paper 
continuing the record of the physicians of the County from the year 1800 to 
a much more recent date. 

Lanesborough has the distinction of making the Episcopal Church more 
prominent in the early time than any other town in the County ; and in this 
point of view, the elaborate and excellent paper, by a clergyman of that 
Church, printed in the present number, will find a Wide and pleasant recog- 

Mr. Canning has been from the first one of the most assiduous and labor- 
ious members of our Society. The ripened fruit of long research into the 
fascinating story of Indian Missions in Stockbridge will be welcomed (and 
more) by the readers of the present number. 

A portion of our County but little known, because hitherto but little in- 
vestigated, has been illumined by Mr. Beebe in his careful paper, which the 
Society is now glad to present to the public. 

A. L. p. 

Williams Collkue, Mauch 4, 1890. 


Medicine in Berkshire. 

By Dk. A. M. SMITH, Williamstowh. 


At the present time many of the physicians who first came 
to Berkshire, are known only by name. The record of their 
birth and death; of their struggles during the, early days of the 
county; of their heroism; of their masterful skill; of that pro- 
found love for them and confidence in them begotten by their 
unselfish devotion to their profession; of these things there is 
for many no history. 

The settlement of Southern Berkshire w r as from the valley of 
the Connecticut. "The first road into Berkshire county" — 
says Mr. Keith, — "is that from Westfield to Sheffield," and the 
four new townships opened on this road were Called No. 1, 2, 
3, 4. No. 1, Monterey and Tyringham; No. 2, New Marl- 
boro; No. 3, Sandisfield; No. I, Beeket, "It appears," says 
the same . writer, "that this road was only a path at the 
time of the grant of townships Nos. 1, 2, 3, I in 1735." Still, 
we have a record of a physician in Sheffield as early as 1743. 

Mr. Charles J. Taylor, in a letter to the writer, says, "The 
first physician in the north Parish of Sheffield, now Great Bar- 
rington, of whom I find mention was Deodet Woodbridge of 
Hartford, Doctor of Physic, as described in a deed of March, 
1773. He lived here for a time in that year, but how long I 
do not know, nor have 1 any further information about him." 

"Doctor Samuel Break, perhaps from Palmer, Mass., pur- 
chased a house and land here in 1751, and is supposed to have 
settled here in that year. Was Parish Assessor in 1752. Mar- 
ried, about Oct., 1702, Mary Strong of Stockbridge. Had a son, 
John Aaron Breck, baptized Dec. 13, 1703. Doctor Breck 
died in 1764." (Correspondence of Mr. Taylor.) 

Doctor William Bull was a native of Westfield, and reputed 
to be an eminent physician. In 1751 he, with forty-four other 
persons, petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts "for 



^ .110 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 


the confirmation of their lands by the occupants," etc. He 
must then as early as 1751 have been settled in Sheffield. This 
petition indicates a man of great influence with his neighbors; 
of great concern that they have to pay such heavy rents to 
Robert Livingstone, Jr. Esq., "And never Ijke to have the 
Gospel among them so long as they are Tenants to him," etc., 
and of that godliness which likes to occupy a good deal of land. 
We have no further history of him. 

"Doctor Joseph Lee, from whence unknown," was in Shef- 
field, now Barrington, in 1761. Dr. Collins of Great Barring- 
ton, saySj "I am now (1879) residing on premises which have 
been occupied by physicians for more than a century. Not the 
same buildings — my house was built of stone in 1851, the year 
1 came here,' and stands on a corner in the southern part of the 
village and has just one acre about it. The first owner was Dr. 
Joseph Lee, who married, Jan. 1762, Eunice Woodbridge, 
daughter of Timothy Woodbridge, Esq., of Stockbridge, and 
occupied these .premises in 1762, and died March 6, 1764, .aged 
27 years. Dr. William Whiting occupied the same place 1765 
and died 1772. Dr. Samuel Barstow, father-in-law of the late 
Increase Sumner, Esq., occupied the premises in 1808, died in 
1813. So you see I am the fourth medical man on the 
premises. The old house was moved off about thirty years 


"Doctor Samuel Lee, said to have been from Lyme, Conn., 
was here in 1765, bought a house and land here Jan., 1765, the 
same which, soon after, he sold to the County for a jail house 
and for the accommodations of a jail. He was licensed as an 
Innkeeper April, 1765, kept the jail house and was also ap- 
parently keeper of the jail. He removed from town about 
1768, to Salisbury, Conn." (Correspondence.) 

"Doctor William Whiting was a son of Lieut. Col. William 
Whiting of Bozrah, Conn., born April 8, 1730. He studied 
medicine with Dr. John Buckely of Colchester, Conn., became 
a physician and resided for a time in Hartford. By the death 
of Dr. Joseph Lee and Dr. Samuel Brock, both of which oc- 
curred in 1764, a vacancy was made, and it is probable that to 
fill the vacancy was the object of Dr. Whitney's removal to 

Medicine in Berkshire. 1 17 

Barrington. His first appearance there foae in March, 1705. 
lie located in the house previously built and occupied by Dr. 
Joseph Lee. He united tavern keeping with his professional 
business, He remained on that place until 1773, when he 
built in the center of the village a house still standing, though 
removed from its former site. He soon, became prominent in 
town affairs, was often moderator of tlie town meetings, held 
the office of selectman repeatedly, and in 1776 and '78 was a 
member of the Committee of Safety. At the breaking out of 
the war, he espoused the cause of the colonies — was active and 
patriotic. He was a member of the Provincial Congress of the 
province '71—5 and 0, where he served on important commit- 
tees. Throughout the war he seems to have exerted a whole- 
some influence in town, and his record in that period is very 
commendable, lie was a Justice of the Peace during the 
Revolution, and his commission issued under the reign of 
George the Third, was one of those altered by the State Coun- 
cil, July 8, 1770, to correspond with the changed status of po- 
litical affairs. From 1781 to '87 he was one of the Judges of 
the Court of Common Pleas for P>erkshire, and as such, was com- 
pelled with other of the Judges, by the mob of Shay's men, in 
1 780, to sign a paper agreeing to hold no more courts until the 
State Constitution should be reformed or revised. His course in 
the Shay's troubles was less commendable and patriotic than in 
the Revolution. It was such as brought upon him the dislike 
and displeasure of the friends of law and order. And in the re- 
sult of the conflicts of that time, he was among the number fined 
and sentenced to imprisonment and to sign bonds to keep the 
peace. His offence seems to have consisted in "seditious words 
and practices." He left a reputation of a skillful physician and 
surgeon and appears to have had an extensive practice. He died 
1792, Dec. 8th, aged 02 years." (C. J.Taylor, correspondence.) 
" Doctor John Budd, said to have been from New Bedford, 
and also reputed to have been a lieutenant in the service at the 
capture of Rurgoyne, probably resided in Rarrington as early 
as May, 1780. He was a driving, active fellow — a "high 
flyer," — and attained a large practice. He died in 1801: at the 
age of 51." (Taylor.) 

118 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

" Doctor fsttac Baldwin, — a genial man with it wooden leg, 
— caine here (Barringtoii) from Waterbury, Conn., in 1804, in 

his 59tli year." (Taylor.) 

" Doctor Benjamin Rogers, f rona the vicinity of Lebanon, 
Conn., came here (Barrington) in or about 1S00, engaged in 
practice probably as early as 1S12. He was a fine, gentlemanly 
man,- of prepossessing appearance, and took some interest in 
political affairs. lie removed to Hartford when? he died about 
1830." (Taylor.). 

" Doctor Samuel Barstow^mn of Seth Barstow, of Sharon, 
Conn., came here (Barrington) about lsos, and engaged in 
practice with his brother, Gamaliel II. Barstow. Samuel was 
a democratic politician, and was a fine supporter of the right of 
his country, a member of the State Senate in 1812. He died 
in Barrington at the age of 36, in 18 13, June 20th, of an amo- 
tion of liver and stomach; bore his long sickness with calm 
resignation, and died in hope, greatly lamented. Gamaliel re- 
moved to Broome county, K. Y. ; was a member of the New 
York State Senate, State Treasurer of New York, and a mem- 
ber of Congress." (Taylor.) 

Doctor Tliomas Bolton, Doctor Tliomas Drake, Doctor Al- 
vin Wheeler were also in Barrington sixty years ago, respecting 
whom little is known. 

Doctor Wathaniel Downing was one of the earliest physi- 
cians of Sheffield, but there is no further knowledge of him. 

Of Doctor Samuel Barnard, a native of Deerrield, and a grad- 
uate of Yale College in 1750, Dr. Peck says: — "I only know by 
tradition that he practiced here (Sheffield), and was the town 
clerk for many years, and I infer, therefore, that he was quite 
respectable as a physician and as a member of society." Dr. 
Barnard was one of the five of the committee appointed at a 
congress of deputies of the several towns within the county, 
convened at Stockbridge, on Wednesday July 0, 177-1, to take 
into consideration and report the draught of an agreement to 
be recommended to the towns in this county for the non-con- 
sumption of British manufactures, and from this circumstance 
we may conclude that Dr. Barnard not only stood high in the 
confidence of his townsmen, but also that among his colleagues 

Medicine in Berkshire, 119 

chosen as deputies from the towns, lie was reckoned upon as a 
man of firmness and integrity." 

Dr. Oliver Feck, writing of the Sheffield physicians, says: 
"Dr. Sylvester Barnard was a nephew of Dr. Samuel, and 
practiced here at one time extensively, lie was a native of 
Northampton. He died in 1817, at the age of 59." 

"Doctor Asa Hillyer was a native of Granby, Conn." 

"Doctor William Buel, a native of Litchfield, Conn.," says 
Dr.* Peck: "I well knew. lie practiced here (Sheffield) ex- 
tensively for about twenty years, and removed to Litchfield in 
1815. I had a high opinion of Dr. Buel. He was well in- 
formed in his profession, and his moral and christian character 
stood with me and the public at a very high point; he was the 
grandfather of Gen. William I]. Franklin, U. S. army. Dr. 
Buel died in Litchfield about twenty years ago (1850.) " 

" Doctor Asahel Bennett^hovn and educated in Sheffield, had 
but little practice, and removed to Ijinghamgton, JS T . V." 

"Doctor John E. Laffargue, a native of Nantes, Lower Loire, 
France, says Dr. Peck, I well know. I have been engaged with 
him many times in practice; he was well informed in his pro- 
fession; a thorough Frenchman ; a gentleman in his manners, 
with some of his native peculiarities, with an unblemished 
moral character. J Lis practice was limited, and he moved to 
San Domingo where he lost his property, and nearly his life in 
the negro insurrection in 1791. lie died here (Sheffield) many 
years since, aged about 70 (1870.)" 

a Doctor Nathaniel Preston was a very respectable man in 
his moral character; of good mental abilities, but deficient in 
education; never practiced to any extent and died here (Shef- 
field) in 1825." 

"Doctor F. Ii. Kellogg was a native of Sheffield, and prac- 
ticed hero and in Egremont during his life, with the exception 
of about ten years, which he spent in mercantile pursuits in 
Erie, Pa., in which he was unfortunate, lie died in Sheffield 
1877, nearly 80 years of age." 

" Doctor Tthdmer ILSmitJi,* native of Sheffield, did not reside 
many years in town. lie died in Canaan, Conn., age about SO." 

120 BerksJiire Historical and Scientific Society. 

A kinsman of Doctor John Delamater, (Dr. Peck, Sheffield,) 
thus writes of him : "He was a. native of Florida, N. Y., bora 

about 1789; studied with his uncle, Dr. Russell Dow, of Chat- 
ham, N. Y., and attended lectures in the College of Physicians 
and Surgeons, New York; did not take a degree, such an arti- 
cle as a diploma of M. D. was not thought of in those days 
(1806-8); settled at h'rst at Mendon, N. Y. He was always 
rather moveable, and verified the old adage, ' A rolling stone 
gathers no moss;' was in Albany for a time, and came here m 
1815, and remained here 'till '25, then he removed to Pittsfield, 
and was a professor in Medical Institute, Fairfield, N. Y. ; 
Medical School, Pittsfield; Brunswick, Me. ; Cleveland, Ohio,' 
and where else I do not recollect. When approaching 80 
years of age he proposed to go to some small place where living- 
was less expensive, but his medical brethren made provision for 
him and raised about $1200. Died in East Cleveland about SO 
years ago. He was not learned outside his profession, but in 
medical matters was indeed learned ; he had an acute and dis- 
criminating mind in his profession, very enthusiastic, of great 
facility in the expression of his ideas. His christian character 
was above reproach; his charity unbounded, which was the 
chief cause of his poverty." 

The notice of physicians practicing in Otis which follows, is 
from Mr. George A. Shepard. 

" Doctor ElijjJudet Colt, one of the first practicing physi- 
cians, came from Harwinton, Conn., in 1795. He settled in 
that part of Otis then known as London." 

"Doctor Edmund Bancroft was among the early settlers and 
practiced successfully for many years." 

"Doctor White G. Spencer and 'Doctor Adonijah White prac- 
ticed for a time, but how long am unable to learn." 

"Doctor Eoer West was a leading physician for a number of 
years and was very skilful." 

"Doctor Watson Sumner, brother of Increase Sumner, prac- 
ticed about 1820, very successfully." 

" Doctor William Baird practiced many years ; stood quite 
high in his profession; was noted for his literary abilities, and 
lectured occasionally on scientific subjects." 

Medicine in Berksfwre. 121 

" Doctor Charles II. Little was a practicing physician early 
in the settlement of the town. He was from Middlefield, 

"Doctor Wareham L. Fitch was in practice in Otis some 
fifty years since (1830.)" 

Mr. Shepard in writing of Sandisfield physicians, says, " In 
respect to many of the physicians I could obtain no date as to 
time of settlement, leaving, birth, death, or time remaining in 
practice in the respective towns. Our records furnish no clue. 
The older ones were not born in this town." 

" Doctor Jabez Jlolden was the first physician settled in this 
town of whom we have any account. lie was one of the origi- 
nal proprietors; a man prominent in town affairs, as appears by 
the records, but no further information can be obtained as to 
his medical career." 

" Doctor Jeremiah Morrison was one of the earliest practic- 
ing physicians, and came here soon after the settlement of the 
town commenced, but no knowledge is obtained as to the length 
of time he practiced or when he died." 

" Doctor Hamilton came from Connecticut and prac- 
ticed a short time." No further history. 

" Doctor John Ilawley settled in the north part of the town 
on what is known as Beach Plain. I think he also resided in 
the district of Soutlifield for a time, for I find his name on 
their records. He was among the first settlers." 

"Doctor Amos Smith, was settled in the district of South- 
field, was one of the leading men, and must have been one of 
the early settlers as his first child was horn in 1773. lla had a 
family of fourteen children! five girls and nine boys!! lie 
must have had considerable practice to support them all, but, he. 
had (piite a large farm." 

"Doctor lleuben Backman was in practice in this town at 
the same time that Dr. Smith was practicing in Soutlifield. His 
first child was born in 1778. He was eccentric, not popular, 
practice limited." 

"Doctor Robert King was the son and fifth child of Dv. Rob- 
ert King of Blandford, Mass., who was born in Cork, Ireland, 
1744. He was lieutenant in a squadron of cavalry in the 1st 

122 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Brigade, 9th Division of Massachusetts Volunteers in 1808; 
made captain in 1812. He stood high as a physician and sur- 
geon, and had an extensive ride. He removed to Ohio where 
he died June 20, 1851." 

"Doctor Hrastus Beach was born in Goshen, Conn. lie 
commenced teaching school when sixteen years old. After 
twenty-one, lie settled and practiced medicine and became the 
leading physician in Sandisfield." 

" He was a man of good judgment, a skillful practitioner, a 
man prominent in town affairs, He was clear-headed and a 
man of nerve. During his early practice, returning home at 
midnight, he passed the central buiwing-ground. While pass- 
ing he thought he saw something in the figure of a person — 
but ghostly white — moving about. He stopped his horse to 
make sure it was no deception, and being assured there was 
none, he resolved to solve the mystery. Hitching his horse he 
proceeded to investigate. As lie , approached, lie saw it move, 
but intent on solving the mystery, he faltered not. Was it a 
spectre or some tangible being? He found the widow of Rev. 
Eliazer Storr's, who had deceased a short time previously, 
wandering in her night dress, in a somnambulistic condition, 
and hovering over the grave of her deceased husband." 

" Doctor Ebenezer Batch, a contemporary of Dr. Beach, was 
from Plattsburg, N. Y. He studied with the Dr. Brewster of 

u He was exceed indly plain and blunt in speech, making use 
of many quaint and ludicrous expressions. He indulged at times 
somewhat freely in alcoholic beverages, but was careful and 
guarded when attending those seriously sick, and was a very 
cautious practitioner. He excelled in compounding medicines. 
He died Feb. 10, .1851, aged 68." (Geo. A. Shepard.) 

Of Doctor 'John Hulbut, or Ilurlbut as he spelled it, of Al- 
ford, Mr. E. C. Ticknor says, "We know next to nothing. We 
gather — that in 1778, soon after the incorporation of this town, 
at the first meeting in March he was elected Town Clerk and 
also one of the Selectmen; filled at times various town offices, 
was representative to the General Court and received the ap- 
pointment of Justice of the Peace, which was revoked because 

Medicine in Berkshire. 123 

lie was a Shay's man. It is understood that he received a clas- 
sic education at Yale, lie married a Miss Hamlin, the mother 

f a numerous family of children, among whom was the late 
Hon. John W. Ilulhut of Pittsfield, who represented this dis- 
trict in Congress one term." 

He was the only physician in town for a long period. lie 
was one of the first members of the District Society, lie died 
June, 1815, at the age of 85 years." 

"Doctor Forward Barnum, born in Danbury, Conn., was 
the son of Stephen Barnum, who participated in the seige of 
Yorktown at the capture of Cornwallis. Dr. Barnum came to 
this town (Alford) about 1800. lie received only an English 
education, studied medicine with Dr. Biirghardt of Richmond, 
and became the successor of Dr. llurlbut not long after his 
death. Dr. B. died 1828, age 38." (Ticknor.) 

Of the New Marlboro early physicians we know next to 

Doctor Elihxi Wright, Dr. Ebenezer Parish. 

Doctor Benjamin, SrnitJo was one of the founders of the 
Medical Association in 1787, but was the minority of one who 
refused to sign the rules, and Ave hear nothing more from him. 

Doctor Elijah Catlin was admitted to practice by the 
Censors of the Medical Association. He "lias exhibited his 
Proficiency in the several branches of Physical Knowledge to 
Satisfaction, is, therefore, hereby recommended to the Publick, 
as duly qualified, by a regular Education, to enter upon the 
duties of the Profession. Dated at Pittsfield, this Eighth Day 
of January, 1788." 

Doctors Jacob Iloit and Reuben Bnckman were admitted' at 
the same time. 

Doctor Catlin died June 5, 1823, aged 01 years. 

Doctor Gilbert Smith died about 1801. 

Doctor Edmund 0. Peet died May 0, 1828, age 11. 

The earliest physician of Becket was Doctor 0. Brewster. 

The following sketch of his life is from the " Panoplist" for 
Aug. 1812: 

"Doctor Oliver Brewster of Becket, was born at Lebanon 
Conn., April 2, 1700. A lineal descendant of the pilgrims of 

124 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

the Mayflower. At a very early age lie obtained his profession 
and was employed as a surgeon in the American army, in a 
regiment from Berkshire under Col. John Brown of Pittsh'eld, 
in the valley of the Mohawk. On the morning before the 
aetion at Herkimer, he was breakfasting with some officers of 
the regiment to which he belonged. The colonel observing the 
company to eat but little began to reproach them with coward- 
ice. He said 'These fellows, Brewster, have got lead in their 
stomachs. Why! the battle will not last more than five min- 
utes, and you can all of you live in hell so long.' They went 
immediately into action, when in less than five minutes the 
colonel fell and Dr. Brewster was called just in time to see him 

"His labors in his profession were indefatigably faithful and 
successful. In most instances, particularly in acute diseases, his 
practice was eminently successful. Beneficence was a well- 
known trait in his character. This was particularly exper- 
ienced by his patients to whom, when poor, he was not only a 
physician, but a father, relieving their wants to the extent of 
his ability." 

"His professional charges were remarkably moderate and his 
collections of them from persons of humble means — if collected 
at all — was in the most favorable way possible. His worldly 
prosperity was due to his industry and economy of time." 

" In his family his fidelity as a christian father was remark- 
able and exemplary." 

" Decision and determination were indeed characteristics of 
the man." 

" He stood as a pillar in the church in which he was deacon. 
Religion was to him a delight, not a burden; it abounded in 
him, and in mixed companies his conversation upon it possessed 
that readiness and force which manifested his intimate ac- 
quaintance, both with its theory and spirit. Feb. 15, 1812, he 
was visiting a very sick lady in imminent danger. Walking 
the room in deep anxiety, 'I know not,' said he, ' what more 
we can do, but we must all pray for her, and pray for our- 
selves.' He was immediately seized with an apoplectic attack) 
losing all consciousness, in which state he lay for six hours, 


Medicine in Berkshire. 125 

when lie died in the harness and in the fullness and richness of 
his manhood." 

"The next "road (second) through Berkshire was probably 
along the Decrfield valley, over the Iloosic mountain, pant Fort 
Massachusetts, through Willianistown, etc. Fort Massachusetts 
being built about 171-1, a road or trail was probably in use 
then." (Keith.) 

The following sketch is from the pen of Dr. Stephen W. 
Williams, the grandson of Dr. Thomas Williams, whose life 
and work is of historic interest to this County. 

"Doctor Thomas Williams, was second son of Col. Ephraim 
Williams of Stockhridge, who was of the third generation in 
lineal descent from M. Robert Williams, who landed at Boston 
and settled in Roxbury, Mass., in 1030, ten years after the land- 
ing of the pilgrims on the rock at Plymouth, and eight years 
after the first settlement of Boston. Thomas was born at New- 
ton, Mass., April 1, 1718. He received the honorary degree of 
Master of Arts from Yale College about the year 1737, and 
studied the profession with Dr. Wheat of Boston. (In those 
days such a thing as a medical degree was not known in this 
state.) lie settled at Decrfield as a physician and surgeon about 
the year 1739, and was held in great estimation by the govern- 
ment, not alone as a physician and surgeon, but as a man of 
of science. 

So, in the projected expedition against Canada, in the French 
war of 1713, he was appointed surgeon in the army, afterwards 
surgeon of the chain of forts extending from Fort Dummer, at 
Vernon in Vermont, to . Fort Massachusetts at Adams. Dr. 
Williams was often in great peril, for he was frequently obliged 
to pass these forts. It is related of him that a day or two be- 
fore the capitulation of Fort Massachusetts, which happened on 
the 20th of August, 1710, he obtained permission of the com- 
mandant of the garrison to return to Decrfield. At a little 
distance from the fort he, with thirteen attendants, passed 
through a company of hostile Indians on each side of the path, 
and very near, yet they let him pass unmolested for fear, proba- 
bly, of alarming the garrison by firing. He was at Decrfield 

12(5 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

at the Barrs fight, so-called, a few days afterward and dressed 
the wounded. 

In the war or 1755 lie was surgeon in the army under Sir 
William Johnson at Lake George. And, in the encampment 
at the head of Lake George, four miles from the scene of ac- 
tion, on the bloody morning scout, Sept. 8, 1755, received the 
news of the death of his brother, Col. Ephraim Williams, the 
founder of Williams College. On the attack of Dieskau's 
troops upon the encampment the same day, constantly exposed 
to the fire of the enemy, he was incessantly administering to 
the necessities of the wounded, and dressed the wound of Dies- 
kau, who was taken prisoner. 

His practice was very arduous, as his ride was very exten- 
sive, he being the only surgeon in this part of the country. The 
old county of Hampshire then included the county of Berk- 
shire, and Dr. Pynchon of Springfield, and Dr. Mather of 
Northampton, were his contemporaries, who, together with 
himself, w r ere the principal physicians, He was often called 
into the states of Vermont and New Hampshire. lie kept 
himself supplied with the most approved European authors and 
read extensively. In addition to his duties as physician and 
surgeon, he held the office of Justice of the Peace under the 
Crown; also that of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and 
of Probate. He was also many years Town Clerk, lie also 
educated many young men as physicians, who became eminent 
and useful. 

He was a firm believer in the truth of the doctrines of the 
Christian religion, was a member of Pev. Jonathan Ashley's 
church and his devoted friend. He was always spoken of with 
great respect and love by those who knew him. 

His sickness was consumption, from a severe cold caught in 
his professional duties, causing his death on the 28th of Sep- 
tember, 1775, in the 58th year of his age. 

"Doctor Elisha Lee Allen, Pittsfield, son of Pev. Thomas 
Allen, born 1783, died at Pas Christian, Louisiana, Sept. 5, 
1817, falling a victim to his conscientious and zealous per- 
formance of duty in attending upon soldiers' suffering from 
yellow fever. lie was assistant surgeon of the ^lst, and in 

Meaidne in Berhsfii/re. 127 

1815, when the army was reduced to a peace basis, was retained 
as .surgeon's mate. 

Another surgeon's mate and worthy of mention is Dr. Perez 
Marsh, the son of Capt. Job. Marsh, born at 1 1 ad ley, Oct. 25, 
1729, and a Vale graduate in 1748. He was a physician and 
surgeon's mate in the regiment of Col. Ephraim Williams, 
1755. Between that and 1761, he settled at Ashuelot Equiva. 
lent (Dalton.) His further judicial history is given by Mr. H. 
Taft, Esq., in his paper, "Judicial History of Berkshire." 

The history of medicine would be very incomplete without 
that oi the "Medical Association," which was formed in 1787 # 

"Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
In the year of our Lord, 1781. 
An Act, To incorporate Certain physicians, by the name of the Massachusetts 
Medical Society." 

This was enacted and approved by John Hancock. 

Among the names of physicians thus incorporated we find 
the name of William Whiting of Great Barrington. 

In Oct., 1785, the parent society appointed Dr. Sargeant and 
Dr. Partridge a committee in this county "for the purpose of 
encouraging the communications of all important or extraordi- 
nary cases that may occur in the practice of the Medical Art? 
and for this purpose to meet, correspond and communicate 
with any individuals or any Association of Physicians that 
have been or may be formed in their respective counties and 
make a report from time to time of their doings to this society 
as occasion may require." Hut, as we may presume, notwith- 
standing the efforts and solicitations of this committee, and 
earnest men they were, the meeting for the formation of an as- 
sociation did not occur until Jan. 16, 1787, at Stockbridge. 

The morning of Jan. 10, 1787, was cold and clear. It need 
to have been, for the physicians of Berkshire were summoned 
to meet on that day at Stockbridge. In obedience to the call 
William Whiting, John Budd and Samuel Baldwin started 
from Harrington ; James Cowdrey and Amos Smith from San-- 
disfield; Gideon Thompson from Lee ; Jacob Kingsbury from 
Tyringham; Oliver Brewster from Becket; Joseph Clark from 
Richmond; llezekiah Clark from Lanesboro' ; Eldad Lewis 

1 28 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

from Lenox; John TInrlhut from Alford, and David Church. 
Through the dense woods, sparkling, as their branches hung 
with silver crystals, were lit by the morning sun, over the deep 
drifts which the storm had piled in fantastic heaps around, 
plodding- their way with stent, resolute hearts, on horseback, 
they came from the various points of compass, treading their 
way to the house of one Mrs. Bingham, of Stockbridge. Drs. 
Sargeant and Partridge were there to meet them. This meet- 
ing had been anticipated for more than a year. 

These grave and revered seignors, when they had thoroughly 
warmed themselves at the deep fire-place filled with blazing 
logs, and had discussed a goodly quantity of mulled toddy, 
earnestly discussed the potentons event which this day com- 

It was mid-winter, hard and cold. Would it be possible 
with the social storm added, for the infant to survive. But 
there are certain events which will happen whether or no, and 
really before these gray haired sires were ready the child was 
born. Anglo-Saxon in origin, moulded from the tough fibre 
of Puritan stock this fair and lusty infant gave such vigorous 
manifestations of a determination to surmount all the diseases 
and obstacles which lie in the path of infantile life, that the 
attending physicians put aside their fond fears and christened 
the baby " Medical Association." The history of this creation 
whose paternity was the Massachusetts Medical Society, for 
somewhat more than a year before Drs. Sargeant and Partridge 
had been appointed a committee a to form an association for 
the purpose of observing and communicating those things 
which may be for the improvement of the art of physiek, and 
of encouraging a spirit of union with those of the Faculty, and 
of rendering the Faculty more respectable" — this history from 
then till now may be conveniently divided into four periods. 

1st. That from Jan. 10, 1787, to Jan. 8, 1788. 

2d. That from Nov. 12, 1791, to Jan. 7, 1796. 

3d. That from May 4, 1720, to Sept. 1837. 

4th. That from March 2, 1812, to the present time. 

In this first period, or formative stage, none of the fifteen 
physicians were north of Lanesboro. The force of cohesion 

Medicine in Berkshire. 121) 

first exerted itself and the organization was effected with the 
choice of Dr. William Whiting president, and Dr. Oliver Car- 
tridge secretary. They then chose a committee to select such 
laws for the best method of securing this union, i. e., Drs. 
Whiting, Sargeant, Lewis, Hurlbut and Partridge, and as would 
further the three objects clearly set forth : 

1st. " The purpose of observing and communicating those 
things which may be for the improvement of the art of phy- 
sick." .. 

2d. "The encouraging a spirit Of union with those of the 

3d. "The rendering the Faculty more respectable." 

The interim between Jan. 16th and May 1st, the time to 
which the meeting was adjourned, was politically a stormy one, 
and when May 1st seven met, they were a forlorn band. 

Why? Feb. 27, a little over a month since the triumphant 
consolidation, history says, "a party of men halted at the public 
house then kept by Mrs. Bingham," no doubt helping them- 
selves to a goodly portion of that which Falstarf so highly 
praised as creative of valor; then they proceeded to the house 
of Dr. Sargeant and took as prisoners Drs. Sargeant and Par- 
tridge, and the medical students, Hopkins and Catlin, and, 
Mnirabile dictu,' stole Mercy Scott's silver shoe buckles." That 
was what's the matter. Some dastardly one boss shay so 
stooped to conquer that he took Mercy's shoe buckles, silver at 

• We can't wonder this second meeting of seven was pro- 
foundly disturbed, and could only say, "whereas the tumults of 
the times are so great" and they came near saying, as to lead 
some dastardly wretch to steal Mercy Scott's silver shoe 
buckles, but they turned it off and said, "as to prevent a meet- 
ing. We agree to adjourn and come back on the 12th of 

And they did, and more, for in response to the urgent solici- 
tations of their secretary fourteen were present at the third 
meeting, Drs. Timothy Childs of Fittslield, and Asahel Wright 
of Windsor, among them. 

It requires but little imagination to picture these enthusiasts 

130 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

gathered for the purpose of improving the art of phvsic and 
encouraging a spirit of union, discussing with zeal the tough 
eases in their praetiee and with greater warmth the social tumult 
which had upheaved the foundations of society making prison- 
ers of Sargeant and Claliin, stealing Mercy's shoe buckles, over- 
throwing the altars of justice, setting friend against friend, 
household against household, gathering around their appointed 
orator, Dr. Eldad Lewis, listening to his scholarly and noble 
address with rapt attention. 

Hear him: "A society of physicians united upon liberal 
principles, offers a fine opportunity for improvement from the 
communications of the several members. Important incidents 
recurring in private practice will by this means be rescued from 
oblivion, talents will be stimulated to exercise which otherwise 
might have lain dormant and useless, as there will be the great- 
est and most noble excitement to a laudable emulation and in- 

In speaking of the "splendor and dignity" of the profession 
in other counties, he says, "This great and desirable purpose 
can never be obtained until all those low and disageeeable ideas 
of rivalship that have hitherto actuated physicians be discarded 
and sentiments more liberal and philanthropic be adopted: — 
the general prosperity of the whole can never be obtained but 
by the united efforts of all the the parts, so long as we are act- 
uated by the meanness of jealously and opposition to each other 
the Faculty will be subjected to every species of vexation and 

As we listen we are forcibly struck with the wording of the 
vote we have noticed, at the formation of the society, showing 
clearly who was the prime spirit in the Association. 

Rule 8. "All decent familiarity be allowed in said meetings 
in conversing on physical subjects, and no inadvertance or mis- 
apprehension of any matter through inattention be made a sub- 
ject of ridicule, but shall be corrected with that lenity which 
beeometh friends." This rule takes us back to that part of the 
address, which says, "while in this country there are no 
methods of education but the fortuitous instruction of private 
gentlemen and those often the most worthless and unlearned." 

Medicine in Berkshire. 131 

lie evidently was thinking that the stream would be no bet- 
ter than the fountain whence it flows. 

Rule 6th smacks strongly of the old puritan whack. 

u Any person residing within the limits of this county, and 
pretending to practice physic and shall refuse after due notifi- 
cation to become a member by attending the meetings and sub- 
scribing the rules, he shall be treated with entire neglect by all 
that are members, in medical matters." These rules were 
signed by thirteen of the fourteen present. Benjamin Smith 
of New Marlboro, was the minority of one. How resolute in 
his defiance he must have been to have called down on his de- 
voted head the contempt and " neglect" of his thirteen pro- 
fessional brethren. 

1st. The first meeting was Jan. 16th, not,, June. Fifteen 
were present at that meeting, including Ilezekiah Clark from 
Lanesboro, north of Pittsfield. 

2d. The second meeting was in May. Seven physicians 

3d. The third meeting was June 12th. Fourteen physi- 
cians present, at which tinqe rules were presented and signed 
by thirteen of the fourteen physicians present. (See Society 

We give a sketch of the Secretary of the Association, Dr. 

" Doctor Oliver Partridge was born April 26, 1751, in llat- 
iield, and studied medicine there, and removed to Stockbridge in 
1771. He began the active practice of his profession in 1773 and 
died in July, 1848. lie had lived in one house seventy -seven 
years, and had been in the profession seventy-five years. 
Throughout this long period he was engaged in the study and 
practice of medicine. He was a careful observer of nature, a stu- 
dent of botany and interested in the study of the medicinal plants 
of this country. He even engaged in a public discussion of the 
merits of some of our indigenous plants with Dr. Thatcher of 

Note of correction.— In the History of Pittsfield, 2d Vol., occurs this statement : "In 
June, 178?, fifteen physicians all from towns south of Pittsiield met at Stock bridge for 
the purpose of forming (such) a society ; but the " tumults of the times (the Shay's Re- 
bellion) prevented any further action, except the choice of officers, until the 12th of 
.June, when articles of association and rules were drawn up and signed by fourteen 
physicians." This is an erroneous statement. 

5' . 


132 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Plymouth, after they were both past the age of four-score. 
And even when he was more than ninety-five years old lie cor- 
responded with an eminent physician concerning a case of some 
doubt. lie was particularly skillful in chronic complaints and 
in detecting the diseases of children. 

It is said that he was with the volunteers who marched to 
the battle of Bennington, or had hurried on before them, and 
he often related that during the busy scenes that followed the 
battle he noticed and spoke of the blood upon the sleeve of 
Capt. Stoddard. 

In Sept., ITS-i, a vote was passed which gave to Dr. Par. 
tridge the liberty of erecting at his own expense a "high pew 
so-called, over the entrance doors of the gallery to be used by 
him as he pleased during his residence in the town, except so 
much of it as should be occupied by the tything men." 

His mind held out to the last. "Only four weeks before his 
death his deposition was taken by one of his lawyers, and. his 
memory was so accurate that he would not sign it until it was 
altered to conform exactly to what he had told the patty some 
months previous." 

"Thus with quiet diligence he passed more than three-quarters 
of a century in the cure of disease and the study of natural his- 
tory, possessing always the love and confidence of his fellow 
men, and died after having enjoyed more happiness than falls 
to the common lot of man." (History Stockbridge.) 

The history of Dr. Lewis is very imperfect. 

Doctor Kid ad Lewis of Lenox, was one of the founders of 
the Berkshire Medical Society, and the first orator delivering an 
ornate and quite lengthy paper. The tone of this, the first liter- 
ary production of the society, was very high. 

This is his introduction : 

"Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Association : — Hav- 
ing long lamented the many disadvantages under which the 
Faculty have labored in America, it gives me the highest satis- 
faction to perceive the gloom which has hitherto been an in* 
seperable bar to all improvements to be dispersing and that the 
light of true science and rational knowledge begins to ilium- 
inate our hemisphere. 

Medicine in BerksJdre. 1 33 

I have exerted myself for years to procure its establishment, 

and nothing shall in future be neglected, that lies within my 
power to raise it to the highest degree of usefulness and re- 

This was in 1787. I have been unable to ascertain the facts 
of his history, only that he was a man of very great ability and 
influence in the county in his day. He removed from Lenox 
and resided in the latter years of his life in the state of New 

Mr. Stanly, Lenox, says, " With regard to Dr. Eldad Lewis, 
I am surprised at the incompleteness of my own knowledge of 
his history, having had considerable acquaintance with him. 
That a man who resided here for more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury — a magistrate, taking an important part in public affairs — 
an active member of the Congregational church, deputed to at- 
tend ecclesiastical councils — one of the foremost in establishing 
our first Town Library — publishing in this town a political 
campaign paper, one of the earliest papers printed in the 
county, — one of the founders of our Academy and one of its 
earliest trustees — a good classical scholar, an elegant and forci- 
ble writer, a thorough medical student and writer of medical 
essays and successful practioner — and, that before two genera- 
tions have passed, no one here can tell when or where he was 
born, and no one knows when or where he was buried, any 
more than they know where Moses was buried, seems remark- 
able. A man rendering such services to a community ought 
not so soon to pass out of memory, and with the materials we 
have, I trust a more complete account of him may be obtained, 
but it may require considerable correspondence and of course 
take time to accomplish it. 

Uq was here as early as 1788, and removed from the town 
about 1820." 

" Doctor Erastus Sergeant of Stockbridge, was the eldest son 
of the Ilev. Erastus Sergeant, the first minister of Stockbridge, 
the missionary to the ITousatonnuc Indians there, and one of 
the very first white settlers in that town. It is believed that 
Dr. Sargeant was the first white male child born in Stockbridge, 
in the year 1742. 

1 34 Berkshire Historical and Scien tific Society. 

lie was fitted for college by Ills father, entered Princeton, 

remained two or three years hut did not graduate there. He 
studied medicine with Dr. Thomas Williams of Deerfield, with 
whom he studied the usual period of two years, and commenced 
the practice of physic and surgery at Stockbridge about 1740, 
and immediately established a line business. He was much re- 
lied upon as councillor and in difficult cases was the last resort. 
He was a most excellent surgeon and performed nearly all the 
capital operations in his circle of practice, which extended over 
a diameter of thirty miles, and was considered to be very suc- 
cessful in his operations, even in cases which were considered 
to be desperate. 

He educated several students who became eminent prac- 

He was elected a member of the Massachusetts Medical So- 
ciety in 1785, and was a member twenty-nine years, in which 
period he was often chosen as Counsellor." (Williams' Medi- 
cal Biography.) 

Dr. Partridge observes, " He was endowed with a judgment 
and skill in his profession, was sedate, with a large share of 
christian grace, and he was truly the beloved physician. It 
was said of him that no one ever spoke ill of him from his 
youth up." 

In "History of Stockbridge" is this note : "During the sum- 
mer of 1770 a regiment from Berkshire proceeded to Ticonder- 
oga, and as Dr. Erastus Serjeant was one summer at Tieondeiwa 
under Capt. Cook of Curtisville, and his son remembers to have 
seen the muster roll among his father's papers, the probability 
is that he was orderly sergeant in the company." So it reads, 
but, as he had been in practice of medicine and surgery twelve 
years, there is some doubt whether he exercised the office of 
orderly sergeant. 

In Shay's rebellion his house was visited and they took as 
prisoners Drs. Sergeant, Partridge and Catlin. 

Dr. Sergeant was tall, erect and spare in flesh. The latter 
period of his life he had pulmonary disease, and Nov. 14, 1S14, 
while sitting at the dinner table he was attacked with a lit of 

Medicine in Berkshire. 135 

coughing, succeeded by such a violent hemorrhage, that it 

speedily terminated his life at the age of 72 years. 

" Doctor Erdstus Sergeant, Jr., son of Dr. Erastus Sergeant 
of Stockbridge, was born at Stockbridge, 1772, graduated at 
Dartmouth College 1792, and settled in Lee in 1704. He was 
a genial, well informed man, a skillful physician and had an 
extensive practice. He died in Lee in 1832." 

"John Crocker was from Barnstable, a graduate of Harvard, 
and early settled in Richmond. He was small in size and 
stature and had what is not uncommon to such men rather an 
irritable disposition which, no doubt, detracted much from his 
popularity and made his practice very limited. He died where 
the most of long life had been spent in 1815, at the age of 95 

Of these physicians who attended the first meeting no his- 
tory has been found. Dr. David Church, Dr. Samuel Bald- 
win, Dr. Jabez Cowdrey of Sandisfield, Dr. Jacob Kingsbury 
of Tyringham. Dr. Gideon Thompson of Lee, was the first 
physician in Lee. He was a native of Goshen, Conn., practiced 
there only a few years, and removed to Galway, N. Y. 

Of those attending the second meeting, Dr. Thaddeus 
Thompson was from Lenox; Drs. Joseph Brewster and Ephraim 
Durham have no history. 

Of the new members at the third meeting were Drs. Timothy 
Childs, Asahel Wright, John Wright, Lyman Norton, Samuel 
Erisbie. The three latter have no history. 

These earnest men said: "Notwithstanding the present dis- 
couragements to continue to associate and not dissolve," — so 
January 8, 1788, they met and began work. They admitted 
Jonathan Lee of Bittsiield, an assistant of Dr. T. Childs in the 
army, and Ephraim Durwin. The censors examined and 
passed Elijah Catlin, Reuben Buckman and Jacob Hoit. They 
agreed to meet in June in Stockbridge, "but the rebellion pro- 
ceeded," says the Journal, "so rapidly to a crisis," that our in- 
fant prodigy took refuge in the wilderness, and was heard of 
no more till the latter part of '91. 

It is not difficult to see what were the causes which drew the 
mourning lines on the journal at the end of the first period- 

136 Serhshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Considering that the usual place of meeting was the public 
house, also the social custom of the time for drinking, it would 
seem impossihle in this turmoil of Shay's rebellion to have kept 
discussions of it and rancor engendered \>y it, from mingling in 
the business of the hour. In addition to this was the difficulty 
of travel, and also that each of these physicians practiced over 
a wide stretch of territory. These factors were sufficient to 
quell the ardor and high ideal of these representative men. 

Doctor Joseph Clark of Richmond, and one of its earliest 
physicians, as also one of the fifteen at the first meeting of the 
association of Berkshire physicians, was from Springfield. He 
was a very, successful practioner and a man of great influence 
in the affairs of the community. After residing for a feu- 
years in Richmond he was solicited by friends in Vermont to 
remove to that state. After removing there he had a long and 
successful practice. The year of his death is not known. 

"Doctor Timothy Cliilds was one of the leading patriots of 

Pittsfield in the Revolution. His father was Capt. Timothy 

Childs, who led a company of minute men from Deerfield on 

receiving the news of the battle of Lexington, at the same time 

. . . 

that Dr. Timothy was marching as lieutenant with a similar 

corps from Pittsfield. Dr. Childs was born at Deerfield in 

17-18, entered Harvard in 1701, but did not graduate. He 

studied medicine in his native town with Dr. Thomas Williams 

and established himself in practice in Pittsfield in 1771. This 

young physician whs a valuable accession to the whigs. He 

soon won popularity and influence, proved himself an effective 

speaker, and by the rich qualities of mind and heart, as well as 

by the contagion of his youthful zeal, gave a new impulse to 

the cause of independence which he espoused. 

In 1774, August 15th, he and John Strong drew up the pe- 
tition of the inhabitants of the town of Pittsfield to the "Hon. 
old court, not to transact any business this present term," 
which, not admitting a refusal, resulted in the suppression for- 
ever of the courts of law under royal commission in Berkshire. 

In the spring '74, he asked permission to "set up inoculation 
in Pittsfield." The town meeting of '75 denied him permission 
but granted it in '76, but with hesitancy and embarassing con- 

Medicine in Berkshire. 137 

ditions." This circumstances speaks for the boldness and push 
of this young doctor, for the first inoculating hospitals in the 
state were only opened in 1704 in the vicinity of Boston, and 
in '76 William Aspinwall and Samuel Hayward prepared at 
Brooldin — probably on account of the appearance of small-pox 
at Cambridge in '75 — for private inoculation, and it required 
high courage thus early in this county to face the danger and 
unpopularity of this measure. 

In the winter of '74 and 5 he was one of the committee of 
"instruction, inspection and correspondence." 

Dr. Childs first inarched as one of its lieutenants in a com- 
pany of minute men composed of the flower of Pittsiield and 
Richmond April 22, '74, but was soon detailed as surgeon; af- 
terwards appointed regimental surgeon with Dr. Jonathan Lee 
of Pittsiield, who was afterwards surgeon, as his assistant. 

In 1792 a committee was appointed "to see if Dr. Childs 
might safely be permitted to build a medicine store on the 
west side of the meeting-house," and their report was that he 
might safely be permitted to do so. 

In the war of 1812 he was appointed as visiting physician to 
the prisoners in Pittsiield and Cheshire,, and the Marshal of 
Massachusetts- writing to him says, "That your services have 
been constant, arduous and successful was to be expected from 
your well-known character for patriotism, zeal and professional 
skill, and it was from these considerations that when I proposed 
the appointment I felt peculiarly gratified that you signified 
your acceptance." 

Jl is obituary from The Pittsfield Sun, reads thus: "In this 
town, Feb. 25, 1821, after an illness of a few days, died Dr. Tim- 
othy Childs, aged 73. lie had long enjoyed the confidence and 
esteem of his fellow citizens and his death is a severe public loss 
and deeply regretted. As a physician he was eminently useful 
and skillful, always extending his aid to the relief of the poor 
and the destitute as readily as to the affluent. As a public man 
he was a faithful, able and ardent advocate of the people's 
rights, and our republican form of goverement, and during the 
struggle for independence he participated actively and zealously 
by every means in his power to promote the views and objects 

138 JBerlcshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

of the heroes and patriots of the Revolution. Their triumphs 
in that glorious cause were therefore ever dear to his heart and 
lie lived long enough to witness in the structure of our govern- 
ment the fulfillment of all he had so fondly anticipated. As a 
testimony of the people's confidence for many, years they elected 
him to represent them, both in the House of Representatives 
and Senate, which stations he tilled to the perfect satisfaction 
of his friends. In his last moments he was calm and resigned 
to the will of Providence; enjoyed his reason perfectly, and 
departed without a struggle." 

This minute occurs upon the journal of the Berkshire Medi- 
cal Society: "That, whereas, in the course of the dispensation 
of Divine Providence, it has pleased Almighty God to remove 
by death from our meetings and counsels of this society our 
late revered and respected President, the late Timothy Childs, 
of Pittsfield, M. D. Whereupon the society declare and direct 
the same to be entered on their records. That, while they 
bend with humble submission to the rod, they deeply feel and 
sadly deplore their loss." 

"Doctor Asahel Wright of Windsor, was born Feb. 20, 1757. 
lie first married Mary Wortliington, by whom he had ten 
children. His two eldest sons were educated at Williams Col- 
lege. Five of them, Orin, Erastus, Uriel, Clark and Julius 
were physicians; one, Wortliington, a D. D. ; one, Asahel, a 
L. L. D. ; 'one, Philo, a farmer. 

His father, Asa Wright, was an architect, and accompanied 
Rev. Mr. Wheelock from Lebanon, to Hanover, N. 11., where 
he superintended the erection of Dartmouth College buildings. 
His son, Asahel, entered Dartmouth College where he remained 
through junior year, but the death of his father made it necessary 
for him to leave college, lie then studied medicine, and 'after- 
wards served as surgeon in the navy of the Revolutionary war. 
He then settled in Windsor, about 1781, and practiced not only 
in Windsor, but Dalton, Peru, Hinsdale and other towns 'till 
Dr. Kittredge settled in Hinsdale. His daughter, Mrs. Her- 
rick, says, "My father was a man of remarkable energy and 
fine health. I have heard him speak of riding to these places 
on horseback guided by marked trees." He freely gave his 

Medicine in Berkshire. 139 

services to tile poor. He was a regular attendant upon Sab- 
bath worship and a supporter of the gospel. He was genial, 
enjoying a joke, dealing tlicni out to his patients when he 
thought they needed no medicine. Highly respected and be- 
loved and eminently useful, he spent a long life honorably, and 
died Feb. 10, 1834. (Correspondence.) 

In the second period, which commenced Nov. 12, '94, an in- 
terim of nearly seven years, the first mooting also at Stock- 
bridge had fifteen members, all south of Pittsfield. The affairs 
of the association were conducted by nearly the same persons 
as before.- Dr. Whiting, had died. There were in all six 
meetings, and five new men were added to the society. They 
stated the object, of the association and in nearly the same terms, 
and adopted nearly the same rules. 

The term of pupilage was fixed at three years, and none 
could become pupils until they had "a good knowledge of 
mathmematics and the English language, and can construe and 
parse the Latin language with accuracy." They began with 
four meetings yearly; but at the last meeting, Jan. 7, 1790, at 
which but four were present, they voted to meet twice yearly. 
They adjourned to meet at the same place on the second Tues- 
day of January, but there was no meeting except the censors 
who examined and admitted Ralph Wilcox and Jonathan Whit- 
ney to the society. 

What put the quietus upon the second period, we can only 
conjecture. There is apparent harmony. The turbid social 
condition has passed away. May it not have been that there 
were too many rules; that they were too rigid; that there was 
too little elasticity to them? For example: 

Rule 2. "Any one absenting himself from two successive 
meetings shall render a satisfactory excuse for his absence." 

Rule 10, (part) "We will treat each other with decency, 
honor and candor, and not detract from each other's character 
as physician." 

.Now a condition of feeling which necessitates such rules as 
these with a penalty added for infraction, is not one which 
could render a long association possible. Tinkering of rules 
and ethical questions, carried to any great extent will be the 

140 Berkshire Historical and /Scientific Society. 

death of any medical association. The reports by the Secre- 
tary are merely matters of business and are not instructive in 
any branch of medicine. In June 9, '90, the record is once 
more closed, and we wait twenty-three years, almost a quarter 
of a century before the opening of the third period. 

Of Doctors Joseph Waldo, Elijah Fowler, Elnathan Pratt, 
and Davin Goodwin we have no histories. 

Doctor Samuel Carrington of Sandisficld, was one of the 
committee on revision of rules. 

" Rule 9. A Box shall be opened each meeting for the recep- 
tion incognito of questions, answers, cases and essays on medi- 
cal subjects, which shall be read by the Secretary and kept on 
file; all questions shall be numbered and the answers to them 
shall have corresponding numbers. Subsequently voted, That 
the Box be examined. Several papers were found in the Box 
read before the society and placed on file." 

Next meeting. "The Box was examined and a dissertation 
on Inflammation and the formation of Bus was found therein ; 
read before the society and placed on file." 

As Dr. Jones was then "associated" we give a sketch of his 

"Doctor Horatio Jones of Stockbridge, son of Capt, Josiah 
Jones of that place, and grandson of one of the first persons 
who were chosen as companions of the first missionary and 
school master to the Ilousatonnuc Indians, was born Dec. 30, 
1709. lie entered Yale College in early life and pursued his 
studies so zealously that his eyesight failed, and he was obliged 
to abandon his studies. Of active disposition, with several 
others, he went to what was then called the Genesee Country 
for the purpose of laying out lands as a surveyor. In this busi- 
ness his health and sight were restored, and he returned to his 
studies, entering as a student of medicine the oilice of Dr. 
Sergeant. Before commencing practice as a physician, he en- 
<m<a'd for awhile as a druggist in Stockbridge. He com- 
menced practice in Pittsfield, where he remained more than a 

Being invited by Dr. Sergeant, then in the decline of life, 
to settle in Stockbridge, he accepted the invitation. In the 

Medicine in Berkshire. 141 

winter of 1805 and 6, probably a few years after lie commenced 
praetice in Stoekbridge, he went to Philadelphia for the pur- 
pose of improving himself more particularly in the department 
of surgery. He spent the winter there in attendance upon the 
various courses of lectures, and then returned to Stoekbridge 
where he remained till his death." 

lie became a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society 
in 1804 and received the honorary degree of A. M. from Wil- 
liams College in 1810. 

Mrs. Fairchild, his daughter, says that " he was a man of 
science, eminent in his profession, a good operator in surgery ; 
active, social and very popular; indefatigable by night and day 
to give relief in cases of distress or danger." There was that 
in his manner which seemed to add efficacy to the medicines 
which he administered, and his visits were often acknowledged 
to be beneficial to his patients when he made no prescription. 
Miss Sedgwick said of him : " Our beloved physician who gave 
us smiles instead of drugs." 

"He was unremitting in his attention to the poor, even when 
he knew he could secure no pecuniary reward." From History 
of Stoekbridge I take this sketch: 

"As a man, he combined in himself all those excellencies and 
virtues which constituted him just what the excellent and vir- 
tuous wished him to be. As a scholar, he was eminent. His 
researches were deep, thorough and effectual. As a physician, 
he had but few equals. In addition to his extensive knowledge 
he possessed — in eminent degree — the talent of rendering him- 
self pleasing, easy and agreeable to his patients. Without any 
regard to his own ease or quiet he devoted all his time and 
talents to the service of the public, and possessed the entire 
confidence of all. He was an eminent christian. 

In the spring of 1813, "pneumonia typhoides," an epidemic 
then so-called, was very prevalent in many places, lie had been 
incessant in his labors with the sick, and eight days before his 
death was violently seized with the disease; yet continuing in 
the unimpaired use of his reason, and glorying that God and 
Savior, who by grace, had fitted him for the death of the right- 
eous; and crying when the scenes of earth were fading from his 

142 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

vision, 'Lord, Jesus receive my spirit,' fell asleep, April 20th, 
1813, at the early age of forty-tliree years. J J is funeral ser- 
mon was preached by Eev. Dr. Hyde of Lee, and the concourse 
of mourners from Stockbridge and neighboring towns attested 
the deep interest taken in the life and death of this eminent 
and good man." 

In the third period, in Lenox, July 1, 1819, we change to "a 
meeting of fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society. " The 
voices to which we were accustomed, we listen for in vain. The 
places of Sergeant, Jones, Partridge and Lewis are occupied by 
others of a succeeding generation upon whom their mantle of a 
high professional ideal has fallen. Drs. Burghardt, II. H. £ 
Childs, Robert Worthington, Asa Burbank, Alfred Ferry, Orin 
Wright, II. S. Sabin, Wis. 11. Tyler, Daniel Collins, Royal 
Fowler, Hubbard Bartlett, these were the men who were 
standard bearers from 1S20 to 1834. The medical center had 
now moved to Lenox with an annual and semi-annual meeting, 
but in consequence; later, of the establishment of the Berkshire 
Medical Institute, the semi-annual was held at Pittsfield. In 
this revival of the society Dr. Timothy Childs of Pittsfield, was 
first President, elected May 4, 1820; but full of years and 
honors he died while president, aged seventy-three. 

The journal says, "Our late revered and respected president." 
The word "revered" is one which sheds light upon his 
character, and would not have been used without there had 
been joined to his character as physician, those other higher 
spiritual qualities which are so ennobling. 

Doctor Hugo JJurghardt, the first Vice-president of the 
third period, a native of Great Barrington, was born 1771. He 
was a graduate of Yale College. He studied medicine with 
Dr. Sergeant of Stockbridge, and commenced practice in Rich- 
mond in 1790, and continued the beloved physician till 1820, 
when declining health obliged him to relinquish general 
practice, though after that, called in council in obstinate cases. 
I lis practice extended to other towns where he often had the 
c hargc of acute cases. Confidence in his skill extended as far 
as his name was known. He educated many students who 
went from his office as their Alma Mater, many of whom dis 

Medicine in Berkshire. 143 

tinguished themselves in medicine in different sections of the 

" In person, he was a specimen of the noblest productions of 
nature ; tall, with a well-proportioned physical organization ; 
erect and graceful in all his movements, he won the notice and 
admiration of all. Affable in his manners, his geniality threw 
a halo around his path and made him a most welcome visitor 
to scenes of suffering and sorrow. In discussion, he was strictly 
logical, clear and convincing. As a citizen, he regarded the 
interests of the community as his own, and gave his influence 
strongly in their behalf." 

In Shay's Rebellion, says the writer of Berkshire County 
History, 138, "a body of men coming on from Lenox under 
Capt.. William Walker, lost of the militia two killed and one 
wounded." The person wounded was Dr. Burghardt of Rich- 

Those whose memories treasure facts that transpired seventy 
years ago will recollect that the war of 1812 drew political lines 
so strong that brother was often at implacable war with brother, 
and it was not unusual for men's strong and most vindictive 
foes to be of their own family. Dr. Burghardt took an active 
part in this war of feeling and the pecuniary sacrifices he made 
to sustain and give ascendency to his party were his pecuniary 
ruin." He died Oct. 18, 1822, aged fifty-one years. 

In Sept. 1822, the Medical Society passed and presented to 
him the following vote: 

" That the thanks of the society be presented to Dr. Hugo 
Burghardt, our late president, for the zeal and interest mani- 
fested by him in promoting the establishment and prosperity 
of the society, also for the ability and dignity displayed by him 
as presiding officer of this society, regretting that the state of 
his health would not permit him to continue in said office." 

From History of Stockbridge, page 218: " Doctor Alfred 
Perry, Secretary of the society 1820, was born in Harwinton, 
Connecticut, where his father was then pastor, but in 178-1 
removed to Richmond, in this county, with his parents. 
In 1803 he was graduated at Williams College. For several 
he Avas in feeble health, but taiiffht for a time in West- 

144 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

liekl Academy, and for a few years in South Carolina, whither 
he had gone for his health. lie completed his studies at the 
Philadelphia Institution then under the care of Dr. Rush, and 
commenced practice in Williamstown. Nov. 1, 1814, he was 
married to Miss Lucy Benjamin of that town, and in Nov. 
1815, he removed to Stockbridge. In 1837 he went to Illinois, 
and having fixed upon a location removed his family in June, 
1838, but died Sept. 10th of the same year. 

As a Christian and a deacon in the church, Dr. Perry was 
peculiarly active; and, as a physician, fervently beloved by 
his patients, and trusted with a fearlessness which was some- 
times denominated idolatry. He was a man of great patience 
and firmness, and differed from many of his day in both his re- 
ligious and his medical views; and in religious matters, though 
he steadfastly adhered to what he believed to be right, still he 
maintained an unusual degree of quietness and self-possession, 
and when convinced of an error, no man was more prompt to 
acknowledge it and seek forgiveness. An auxiliary temperance 
sociaty was formed through the energetic efforts of Dr. Perry 
as early as the summer of '27, and we believe '26." 

On the revival of the Medical Society in 1820, after its sleep 
of over twenty years, Dr. Perry was elected Secretary, and on- 
Avards to near the time of his leaving for the west, was a very 
active and influential member, and for a number of years was 

"lie was generally in advance of his time on all subjects of 
moral reform, such as temperance and slavery — in thorough 
sympathy with all progressive movements, ideas in theology 
and medicine. An auxiliary temperance society was formed 
in Stockbridge as early as the summer of '20 or '27 through 
the energetic efforts of Dr. Perry when it was exceedingly un- 
popular to be on the side of total abstinence, and the same was 
true as respects the side of anti-slavery." 

hi the words of one who knew him best: — "He was a con- 
scientious, devoted Christian; he never let self stand between 
God and duty. I have known him," she says, u let a neighbor 
take his horse to go to mill, at the same time lie walked four 
miles to visit a patient." 

Medicine in Berks? lire. 145 

w; He went to the west against the earnest opposition of 
friends, following his own eonvietions in respeet to his duty, 
even unto death." 

Voted. — Sept. 13, 1821, To hear the dissertation of Dr. Asa 

Voted. — The thanks of the Society to Dr. Burbank for his 
learned and elegant dissertation. 

"Doctor ^lsa Btirhank was born in Williamstown, Mass., 
Sept. 28, 1773. He devoted his early life to study; graduated 
at Williams College in 1797, and in the year 1708 he was ap- 
pointed a tutor in that eollege, which office he held two years. 
In the year 1800 he commenced the study of medicine in the 
ollice, it is believed, of the celebrated Dr. William Towner, a 
distinguished physician and surgeon in Williamstown. He 
attended one or two courses of medical lectures in the medical 
school of the city of ISTew York, under the direction and in- 
struction of the eminent Dr. Post and other distinguished pro- 
fessors in that celebrated institution, then connected with 
Columbia College. He then commenced the practice of his 
profession in Lanesboro'. Here he continued in extensive and 
lucrative practice, not only in this, but in most of the neighbor- 
ing towns, giving universal satisfaction. In 1S2-1 he removed 
to Albany where he remained four years, till he was attacked 
with dropsy of the brain, which was probably brought on by a 
fall, and injury of the head, in 1824, and which induced him 
to leave the theatre of his active usefulness at Albany, and re- 
turn to Williamstown. Here he became blind, and remained 
so for nine months. Dr. Burbank stood high in the estimation 
of his professional brethren, as well as of the public. In the 
year 1822, about the time of the establishment of the Berkshire 
Medical Institution connected with Williams College, he was 
appointed Professor of Obstetrics, and continued his useful 
labors for two years, giving great satisfaction to the students, 
when he resigned and removed to Albany." Dr. Williams 
says, "I was intimately acquainted with him in this institution 
where I was a fellow laborer with him in the department of 
medical jurisprudence, and I can bear ample testimony to his 
worth and usefulness. He was one of the most companionable 

146 JBerhshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and facetious of men, and his happy turn of relating anecdotes^ 
of which an abundance was stored in his capacious mind, often 
kept an assemblage of his friends in a roar of laughter. He 
had a most happy and enviable faculty of cheering up the 
minds of his patients, even in the most desponding cases, and 
often of smoothing their pillows in their descent to the grave. 
No one can doubt that he was both a moral and a highly relig- 
ious man." 

In a letter from his daughter she says, "In his profession his 
love for doing good seemed to be the governing principle of 
his life. I think he braved the winter storms of old Berkshire 
with more readiness to visit the very poor, than those who had 
ample means to reward him for so doing. To benefit the town 
in which he lived, he was willing to and did make great sacri- 
hces, both to encourage education and in many other ways to 
improve society. 

My father was tall, six feet and well proportioned, with an 
eye that seemed to read character at once, retiring in his man- 
ner, but could indulge in severe satire when he thought he was 
not honestly dealt with. He had a happy faculty to cheer and 
encourage in the sick room, and many a nervous, desponding 
patient rallied and recovered after his encouraging conversa- 
tion. He was a religious man. His disease was dropsy of the 
brain and terminated his life Aug. 4, 1829." 

Before passing to a further consideration of the society 
whose affairs were intimately associated with the Berkshire 
Medical Institution, we will introduce sketches of three cele- 
brated Williamstown physicians and surgeons: 

Doctor Samuel Porter 1 of Williamstown, was born in 175 G, 
and came to AVilliamstown from Northampton. He was a dis- 
tinguished surgeon, especially in the line of ''bone setter." 
Many apocryphal stories are extant in the community regard- 
ing him, but it is known that he went to New York city to re- 
duce a hip dislocation which had baffled the efforts of the 
faculty, and was successful. He had the patroon of Banslaeer 
for a patient, and as a surgeon his fame was wide-spread. He 
was fearless and probably somewhat reckless. It is related of 
him that when asked why he never put breechin on his horse 

Medicine in Berkshire. 147 

he replied with a big J). "that he didn't want any horses that 
couldn't keep out of the way of his sulky." h\ driving he was 
a Jehu. lie died Jan. 7, 1822, "after a long and severe illness 
which he bore with great patience and resignation. lie was an 
active and useful man, and esteemed for his benevolent and 
social qualities." 

Doctor William Toioner of Williamstown, was from New 
Fairfield, Ct., He was born in 1750. His first settlemeiit in 
the county was at Stafford Hill, Cheshire, where he lived a 
number of years, and was the first plrysician. It is related he 
then moved to Williamstown, about the year 1790, at first oc- 
cupying the place now owned and occupied by Almon Stephens". 
He afterwards, till the time of his death, occupied the house 
in Water street, now owned by Mr. Welch, opposite Green 
River Mills. 

He was a man of graceful exterior and pleasing manners ; a 
courtly gentleman of the old school, fond of society, and "read- 
ily lent his attention to subjects outside his' profession, espec- 
ially politics, at that time the all-engrossing concern of the day." 
He labored hard in the establishment of the free school founded 
by Williams, which afterwards became Williams College, and 
it is written in the heading of the subscription, "in erecting a 
house of public worship on the eminence where the old meet- 
ing house once stood in Williamstown." 

He was commissioned General of Brigade by the state, and 
is described as a "large, well-proportioned, and not only a grand 
man, but also a splendid looking man in regimentals." 

He was both Representative and Senator, and Justice of the 
Peace. In the time of Shay's Rebellion he became very ob- 
noxious to Shay's adherents and was shot at by them, some of 
the buckshot lodging in his boot. " Being an old democrat, the 
federals got doctors to run him out, but when their own fam- 
ilies were sick they employed him. He was strictly temperate. 
In those days it was the custom for the physician to help him- 
self wherever he called from the decanters of the sideboard, 
but he early became convinced that total abstinence was his 
only safeguard and he adopted it. lie was surgeon's mate in 
Col. Simons' resdment in Oct. 17S1. 

148 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

At the time of his death lie was looked upon as one of those 
to support Gen. Dearborn and he would have done so had not 
death frustrated the purpose; his commission arriving after 
that event. 

In medicine his success was wonderful, his fame wide-spread. 
lie practiced as far as Troy, and in 1840 his grand-daughter re- 
ceived marked attention while residing at Waterford, N. Y. 3 
from people in high life, by reason of her relationship to Gen. 
Towner. In fevers his medical aid was sought extensively and 
he was in them considered the authority. 

He was considered in "mad dog bite" as sure to eradicate 
the poison and prevent the disease, but what method he used the. 
writer never could ascertain, only that calomel was exhibited in 
some stage of the treatment. 

What was strange for those days, he never bled in fevers, 
nor in typhoid pneumonia. It was while the epidemic of 
pneumonia in 1812, 13 and 14 was raging through this section 
that he was seized with the disease when in Pownal. His sys- 
tem was exhausted by his incessant toil, and when his son-in- 
law, Dr. Samuel Smith, who had been practicing with him 
only a short time, reached him, he told him on no account to 
bleed him as it would be his death ; but in the absence of Dr. 
Smith, Dr. Porter, his co-temporary in Williamstown, called 
upon him, and although his symptoms were more favorable, in- 
sisted on bleeding him, after which he failed very rapidly and 
died. Thus at the age of fifty-eight passed away a physician 
whose fame extended to the Capitol, and whose early death 
excited the profoundest regret among all classes. He was phy- 
sician in the family of Dr. Satin's father in Pitts-field, and rec- 
ollects on coining home one day from school, he found his 
mother leaning against the mantel-piece crying, and on inquiry 
learned that the beloved Dr. Towner was dead. 

lie was a Mason and buried with ceremonies of both the 
Masonic and military orders. Put he was mourned by the 
poor and humble who had shared equally with the rich in his 
ministrations, and who held him in grateful and tearful remem- 
brance as long as they lived. 

He was a churchman and often as possible attended service 

Medicine in Berkshire. 149 

in Lanesboro', the then nearest point of worship; but became 
the warm admirer of Dr. Nott, who occasionally preached in 
Williamstown. He died insolvent, big property being sunk 
through Gen. Skinner when state treasurer, as lie was one of 
Skinner's bondsmen. 

Although the Masons procured for him a monument it was 
never erected, and through a shameful neglect nothing marks 
his grave and it is now unknown where he rests. 

Doctor Samuel Smith was born in Iladley, Mass., Aug. 13, 
1780, and died in Williamstown, where he spent the greater 
part of his life, June 9, 1852. His father, Joseph Smith, "lost 
his property in the Revolutionary army," and in consequence 
the boy Samuel was early bound out to a first cousin, and he 
relates that he worked through the day on the farm, and then 
trudged at night nearly to Amherst after the cows. He never 
went to school but three months. The first book he owned 
was Capt. Cook's travels, read by the light of pine knots in the 
winter; when he had read it he sold it and bought another 
book and in this manner continued his reading and education. 
He came to Williamstown with Stephen Smith, a cousin, who 
was a blacksmith, and worked with him until he was eighteen 
years old, about which time he married Betsey, the second 
daughter of Gen. William Towner, and went to Manchester, 
Vt. Not being successful, after a stay of four years, he re- 
turned and started a trip-hammer blacksmith shop where Town's 
mill stood, living in a house opposite. He continued at his 
trade till his health failed him, when he entered the office of 
Dv. Towner and commenced the study of medicine. About 
this time he used to teach singing-schools in town, Lanesboro, 
and other towns, and one who ever heard him will never forget 
the purity and sweetness of his singing, or his invariable habit of 
singing whenever or wherever he rode over the Berkshire hills. 
In 1809 he entered into partnership with Dr. Towner, and Oct. 
30, 1809, twenty-nine years old, the father of six children, lie 
makes his first charge against Robert Lee." 

In 1812 Dr. Towner died, and Dr. Smith succeeded to his 
large practice. 11 is daughter says, " Father was emphatically 
a self-made man. I can remember when he had few hours of 

150 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

rest, "always riding night and day, yet, lie took medical journals 
and put their thoughts in his head to use when and where his 
good sense suggested." lie could intelligently converse with 
Profs. Dewey, Kellogg or any one else on medicine, chemistry or 
botany. The latter study he pursued enthusiastically with Prof. 
Eaton, and I (the writer) well remember the botanical speci- 
mens which were pressed and placed in a book and scientifically 
labelled; yes, and I don't forget that my morning naps were 
broken by his calling me to help gather lobelia, elecampane, 
colt's foot, skunk cabbage, etc. He dwelt very largely in the 
Vegetable Pharmacopoeia, yet he used many other remedies. 
One of his favorite prescriptions was equal parts of steel til- 
ings, aromatic powder and powdered egg shells, and as an an- 
tacid and tonic in dyspepsia was excellent. Indeed, his pre- 
ferred medicine was, in cases of debility, iron in some form, 
more usually Iluxham's tincture ; opium was, however, his 
sheet anchor, and it may justly be claimed that the priority in 
this section of the use of opium in peritonitis belongs to him. 

He was a man of rare powers of observation and judgment, 
of excellent memory, and in his generalization was usually ac- 
curate. He trusted much in the powers of nature, and as a 
successful and highly esteemed obstetrician with large practice 
in this department, would have considered some of the teach- 
ings and practice of the present day as wildest vagaries. 

As a practioner in fevers, he was a long way ahead of his 
generation, adopting m the main the practice of the present 
day. His patients were nourished and their nervous system 
quieted, and placed in the best condition for the conservative 
powers of nature to weather the storm. He used in adynamic 
cases stimulants freely, and discarded cathartics, giving freely 
of cream of tartar and gum arable for drink. Of course, being 
a very decided man in his opinions, when he felt himself in the 
right, he was often brought into decided antagonism with the 
disciples of the school of bleeding, calomel and carthartics; but 
his wise trust in the powers of nature; his use of tonics and se- 
datives, no doubt, saved many valuable lives, and in many a 
house and heart to-day his memory is precious. 

Ue was honored by his fellow townsmen, being twice elected 

Medicine m Berkshire. 151 

to the Legislature, besides bearing for a long time the commis- 
sion of Justice of the Peace. 

He was a religious man, very active and scrupulous in relig- 
ious duty. I do not forget the winter daylight prayer-meeting, 
which I was called up from my bed to go to with him, nor the 
morning prayer after breakfast, when he often, with his large 
family, all singers, led the hymn, " Show pity Lord" to the 
tune Rockingham, — that was verily religious education. His 
seat was rarely unoccupied on the Sabbath day. 

Iu his family and society he was genial — in his younger days 
frolicksome, and he loved to hunt, being an excellent marks- 
man, too much so for the proprietors of turkey shoots. He- 
was familiar with all the woods and mountains of Willianistown 
and vicinity, often visiting Greylock. His daughter, Nancy, 
was the first female who rode on horseback to the summit. 

lie had a strong, expressive face, jet black hair, even till 
his death, and the peculiarity which was noticed by all people 
of later days, his queue. 

lie was a man of great activity, a very early riser, and ac- 
complished a great deal while others were asleep and wanted 
to sleep, lie delighted in the best and earliest vegetable gar- 
den in town, and as long as he lived excelled, in this respect, 
all his neighbors. 

His longest co-partnership was with Dr. Sabin, ten years, and 
in this period of his greatest medical' activity his circuit of 
business was more than twenty miles. 

He died June, 1852, after a short illness, closing a life full 
of blessing to his family, the poor, the community at large and 
his profession. 

Doctor Remembrance Sheldon was born in 1759. His his- 
tory is unknown, only that he came to Willianistown, as related, 
in response to invitation of Shay's partisans in opposition to 
Dr. Towner, who had incurred their hate. He lived in the 
house now occupied by Mr. James "Waterman, and had a re- 
spectable family. He died in 1809. 

"Doctor Snell Babbitt was burn in Norton, Mass., Sept., 
9, 1783, and died March i), 1853, aged sixty-nine and a half 
years. While a youth, his parents removed to Savoy, County 

152 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

of Berkshire. During his minority he was assiduously engaged 
in the labors of the farm, lie early manifested a strong desire 
for the acquisition of knowledge, and under the direction of 
the Bev. Jeremiah Ilalloek of Plainfield, he pursued his studies 
preparatory to the profession of medicine. With Dr. David S * 

dishing of Cheshire, an eminent physician, he studied the pro- 
fession of medicine. Pie remained a short time in Cheshire, 
practicing his profession, but soon removed to Hancock, where 
a wider field invited his labors. It was during the epidemic 
of 1812, a malignant disease called Spotted Fever and Cold 
Plague, Dr. Babbitt gained a high reputation as a judicioas 
physician, and was extensively employed in all the surrounding 
country. In 1831, Dr. Babbitt located in Adams, where he 
continued in the practice of medicine nearly twenty-two years, 
— successful as a general practioner, and distinguished particu- 
larly as an Obstetrician. Though deprived of the advantages 
now enjoyed by the medical student, such was his thirst for 
knowledge and desire for improvement, that he employed every 
leisure moment in study, and was ever posted up in the progress 
of the science of medicine. He was not merely a reader, but 
a thinker, a discriminating observer, and a man of sound judg- 
ment, and withal, a memory so accurate, that at the bed-side of 
his patient he could draw from this store-house all that was 
valuable in the formation of a correct opinion of the case in 

Dr. Babbitt was an intelligent and agreeable man in all his 
associations with his brethren, — cheerful and pleasant at home 
in his family, and especially so in his intercourse with his fel- 
low citizens, — qualities which made him not only very accepta- 
ble in the chamber of the sick, but contributed largely to the 
comfort and restoration of his patients. 

The coniidence of his fellow townsmen, in his ability and in 
his fidelity, was manifested by his repeatedly representing them 
in the Legislature. 

For twenty years he was a member of the Massachusetts 
..Medical Society, and for several years a counsellor, and w r as a 
warm friend to the interests of medical science. 

From the first organization of the Congregational Society in 

Medicine in Berkshire. 153 

South Adams, he was a warm supporter and constant attendant 
on public worship, and the latter part of his life made a public 
profession of his faith, departing this life in the conh'dent hope 
and trust of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

His disease was an organic affection of the stomach, and its 
character and termination he early understood, and wisely an- 
ticipated the event. 

"He was extremely fond of the old poets, and with an excel- 
lent memory his quotations from them were frequent and apt. 
lie was courageous in his practice and however urgent the case 
his energies were made to correspond with his ca^e. Temporal 
arteries fared hardly when a case of eclampsia occurred, and in 
a long career, 1 think he said he never lost but one case." 

"Died at Adams, Sept 30, 1814, of typhus, Doctor Devoid 
Cashing, aged forty-seven. He was a kind and indulgent hus- 
band, father and friend; no eulogy could be made so lasting as 
the monument already erected in the bosoms of his acquaint- 
ance. He had educated many young men in his office." 

" Died at Adams, very suddenly, Oct. 12,1821, Doctor Liscom 
Phillips, aged forty-four. He possessed by nature a strong, 
investigating mind, which was cultivated with more than or- 
dinary care in ordinary and scientific acquirements. He pos- 
sessed those noble qualities of soul which eminently fitted him 
for the various relations of husband, father, neighbor and 
friend. As a physician, his ride was extensive, and he pos- 
sessed the unbounded confidence of his patients." 

"Doctor Robert Cutler Robinson of Adams, born 1784; died 
in 184G, aged sixty-two, having practiced medicine forty years 
in the north part of the county and the adjoining county of 
Hampshire. lie studied his profession under the direction of 
the distinguished Dr. Peter Bryant of Cumm ington, whose 
reputation for scientific and professional attainment is widely 
known. Dr. Robinson was a self-educated man, and a writer 
of considerable eminence, as evidenced by his essays and public 
addresses on various subjects. With talents of a high order, 
he might have excelled as an orator, if his course had been in 

154 Berkshire Historical and /Scientific Society. 

that direction. In the sphere in which he labored he was use- 
ful and respected. (Address, Greeley, page 19.)" 

"Doctor Beriah Bishop of Richmond, born 1778, son of the 
Hun. Nathaniel Bishop, died 1805, aged twenty-seven. 

His youth impaired by too severe exertion caused him to 
turn his attention to science. His medical education was pur- 
sued under Dr. Burghardt of Richmond, and Dr. Smith of 
Hanover, N. II. He entered business in 1803, in partnership 
with Dr. Burghardt. Highly improved with medical learning, 
by assiduous attention to business and by his prudent, amiable 
and exemplary deportment, he rapidly extended his practice. 
But he fell a victim to consumption, and was buried from the 
house of Judge Bishop." 

kk Doctor j\[asoti. Brown was born in Cheshire, in 1783. lie 
was educated in the common schools, but studied medicine 
with Dr. Towner of Williamstown. He was lame, and not of 
strong constitution. His little oilice long stood on the village 
green, near the church. He practiced in the winter in Cheshire, 
but his summers were spent in Saratoga, where his services 
were in great repute. He made a famous pill, which, in con- 
nection with the Spring water, made him famous there, and 
added materially to his income. 

kk He never married; was of a genial, kind nature, and was 
always surrounded by a bevy of village children." 

" A little anecdote is related of his encounter with 'Uncle' 
Moses Wolcott, who for many years, kept the only inn in the 
village. Meeting Mr. W. one morning he jokingly said, -Well, 
Mr. W.olcott, we are going to have a new tavern on the hill, so 
we can have two.' 'Yes! yes!' said the testy old man, c and 
we are going to have a new doctor in town, so we can have 
one.' " (Correspondence.) 

Dr. Brown, on returning from Saratoga, made his stopping- 
place at his sister's, Mrs. Stephen Hosford, and there, in 1830, 
he died. 

"The first effectual eifortinthe direction of a Medical School 
was made in 1851, when Oliver I. Boot, returning from a 
course of lectures in Castleton, Vt.,— Dr. J. 1\ Hatchelder, a 
professor in that institution, having become dissatislied with it, 

Medicine in Berkshire. 155 

— sent word by him to Dr. II. II. Childs that the favorable ino- 
ment had arrived to establish a new school at Pittsh'eld. Dr. 
(J. seized the hint with avidity and immediately took steps to 
avail himself of it." Hist, of Pittsfield, Vol. 2, Chap. XVII. 

In May 22, the subject of a medical institution was intro- 
duced to the society by Dr.. Childs, and favorably entertained. 
A committee was chosen by the society to petition the Legis- 
lature for an act of incorporation and a grant of money. Drs. 
Childs, Burbank and Collins was the committee and they also 
addressed the parent society, requesting its aid and co-operation 
in the proposed measure. But for some reason the parent society 
turned the cold shoulder and opposed the measure. But the 
impetuosity of Dr. Childs knew no defeat, and the charter was 
granted January 4, 1823, and a course of lectures was an- 
nounced for September. 

Theory and Practice, - - - Or. II. II. Childs. 

Anatomy and Physiology, - Dr. J. V C. Smith. 

Surgery, - Dr. J. P. Batchelder. 

Obstetrics and Materia Medica, - - - Dr. Asa Burbank. 

Chemistry and Botany, - - - Dr. Chester Dewey. 

From this it appears, as there were three Professors from 
the Society, how intimate the relations were between the 
society and the institution. But further, the society ap- 
pointed a committee of "inspection" to investigate the con- 
cerns of the institution, and their report in December 23, says, 
"The institution, we are happy to state, promises much utility 
to the medical profession to the country and to the world. 
About eighty students have attended the course; above live 
hundred lectures have been delivered. The funds of the in- 
stitution are low; it needed patronage, and was worthy of it. 
And should the patronage it needed be granted it must rise to 
eminence and great usefulness." And the society united with 
the institution in petitioning for an endowment which was 
granted in 1824, in payments of $1000 yearly for live years. 
No doubt the income was meagre. 

The institution was managed by a board of trustees of which 
Drs. Berry and Tyler were chosen as members from the society. 
There were also annually two delegates chosen to attend the 

150 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

examination of the students for the degree of M. D., which 
were conferred upon its alumni by the president of Williams 
College till 1837, when the degrees were conferred by the 
president of the institution. 

The first President of the Berkshire Medical Institution was 
Doctor Josiah GooaVipe, born at Dunstable, Mass., Jan. 17, 
1759. lie commenced his medical pupilage with Dr. Kittredge 
of Fakesbury, and at the end of two years returned to his par- 
ents in Putney, Vt., where he commenced practice, when about 
twenty years old. Notwithstanding the meagreness of his pre- 
liminary education, he rapidly gained in favor, as well as 
knowledge. Students in numbers came to him and he taught 
some who became distinguished. Nathan Smith was one of 
his pupils. In the year 1800, he received from Dartmouth Col- 
lege the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine. 

In 181f>, he located in Iladley, Mass., and in 1823 was ap- 
pointed by the trustees President of the Berkshire Medical In- 
stitution, lie had the interests of the institution very much 
in heart, and says, "While I have the honor to preside in this 
Institution, it shall be the business of my declining years to 
promote its interests in every way in my power." 

He had an extensive practice in Operative Surgery, and has 
stated that, so far as he knew, he ivas the first to amputate at 
the shoulder joint of any man in Ne r io England. 

lie was extremely temperate in his maimer of living. 

" In his manner, Dr. Goodhue was a pattern of urbanity and 
gentility. In his appearance and dress he was perfectly neat. 
He commanded the respect and esteem of all who- knew him. 
In his department he was affable and polite to his equals and 
inferiors; his conversational talents were of such an order as 
ever to attract attention, and he was always listened to with 
great interest and respect." Williams' Biog. 

lie died in 18£9, at the house of Dr. Twitchell. 

"July 20, 1823. Voted.— That Prof. Dewey be appointed a 
committee to confer with the Trustees of Williams College for 
the loan of the chemical and philosophical apparatus, for the 
use of the Institution during the ensuing course of lectures. 

J. B. Batciieeder, See." 


Medicine in Berkshire. 157 

There is no record of the loan, but I presume it was loaned. 

In 1824 there crops out the jealously towards Harvard, which 
was in consequence, no doubt, of the opposition met with to 
the establishment of the Institution, and which lasted many 
years, and was freely expressed by Dr. Childs. The vote was 
that the degree of M. D. conferred upon the graduate of the 
Berkshire Medical Institution, through the authority of Wil- 
liams College, should "Entitle its possessor to all the rights, 
privileges and immunities granted to graduates of Harvard." 

In this year the Trustees bought the "Berkshire Hotel," 
where Dr. Sabin's father lived, and anticipated the grant of 
the state to the amount of $3,000. And Joseph Shearer pre- 
sents a line fat ox for the benefit of the Institution. A com- 
mittee was appointed to see what should be done with the ox; 
they report "that the ox be sold to the best advantage, and the 
avails be distributed in premiums next year. Called the Joseph 
Shearer fund." 

No doubt the income was meagre. 

How otherwise would Joseph Shearer have made to the In- 
stitution the present of "a fine fat ox." But I credit the 
whole (caboodle?) of them with lunacy. Would you believe 
it? Actually, they appointed a committee to sit on that ox and 
see what should be done with it. Anybody out a lunatic 
asylum would say, make a big barbecue, invite all the hostile 
Indians from the parent society and Harvard hall and Williams 
College and the Legislature, then wash the tenderloin down 
with old Jamaica. Do you think, with the inner man red hot 
with beef and Jamaica, they wouldn't have come down hand- 
some? Why! the Faculty could have marched in procession 
with Childs at the head waving his banner of general princi- 
ples, Smith shouldering a huge thigh bone, Batchelder with 
his carving knife, Burbank with his obstetric forceps, and 
Dewey as rear guard with a stall of golden rod trampling over 
all opposition to fatness and renown. They wouldn't have 
been begging Williams College for old chemical and philosophi- 
cal traps, not a bit of it. But pity 'tis, 'tis true, this daft com- 
mittee sitting on the fat ox, voted to sell it and make Shearer 

158 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

There was in 1828, some trouble growing out of the repre- 
sentations of Dr. Batchelder, (who was then secretary) respect- 
ing the Institution. It was a repetition of what occurred at 
Woodstock. March 20, 1828, there was an examination of Dr. 
Batchelder, on the charge that he tried to injure the reputation 
of the school. " Voted. — That in the opinion of the Trustees 
it is not for the interest of the Institution to continue Dr. B. 
as a professor in the same." 

Near this time Dr. O. S. Hoot was appointed Professor of 
Pharmacy, Materia Medica and Medical Chemistry. 

"Doctor Oliver Sackett Root was born in Pittsfield, July 1st, 
1799. lie was a delicate child, fond of his books, and showed, 
early unusual powers of observation. His academic education 
was at Lenox and Westiield. He studied medicine with Dr. 
II. II. Childs, and graduated at the Berkshire Medical Institu- 
tion in 1824. In 1828, was appointed Professor, and was al- 
ways afterwards one of the Trustees." 

"He was an accomplished botanist and his decision was often 
appealed to in any disputed question on that subject. Al- 
ways deeply interested in public education, he was nearly thirty 
years a member of the School Committee, and for many years 
its chairman. It was greatly owing to his influence and exer- 
tions that the beautiful site of the Pittstield Cemetery was 
chosen. He was the first to discover its natural advantages 
and capabilities, and year after year urged the town its pur- 
chase until at last it was decided upon." 

"A public spirited man he took deep interest in the affairs of 
the town, lie took strong ground as an anti-slavery and tem- 
perance advocate. He spent the summer of '59 abroad. 
During the war full of the patriotic zeal which had animated 
his grandfather in the old struggle for liberty, — too old to be 
accepted as surgeon — in '64 he offered his services to and was 
accepted by the United States Christian Commission, and 
labored zealously and satisfactorily in the hospitals of City 
Point and Petersburg. He was a oreat favorite with the 
Berkshire boys. His exposure in camp life was too great, and 
lie never fully recovered from it. lie had remarkable powers 
of endurance, and continued his practice to the last however. 

Medicine in Berkshire. 159 

never refusing to go out to see a patient, oven in the stormiest 


u lle was an earnest, consistent Christian, an active member 
of the Congregational church, and often in the absence of a 
clergyman, his prayers and ministrations by the bedside of the 
sick and dying were most welcome and comforting." 

lie died of pneumonia, Oct. 22, 1870, and his funeral ser- 
mon was preached by President Hopkins to a great concourse 
of children of the schools and townspeople. 

Dr. Hoot was Secretary of the Institution till its close. The 
Berkshire Medical Society, after his death, passed this resolu- 
tion: "Resolved. — That we remember with gratitude his un- 
tiring industry, his rigid discipline, his brilliant medical essays, 
his thorough medical education, and above all, his love to God. 
The sick and helpless poor have been deprived of a kind and 
faithful friend and medical adviser." Correspondence. 

In December, 1836, a petition was sent to the Legislature 
for an alteration of its charter, so that the Institution would 
have the power to confer its own degrees, and in '37 the act 
passed. They also petitioned for a grant of $10,000. 

Dr. Goodhue was succeeded by Dr. Zadock Howe Bellerica, 
who resigned in 1837, when the connection between Williams 
College and the Institution was dissolved and the Institution 
conferred its own degrees, and in '38 Dr. II. 11. Childs was 
chosen its President. 

''Doctor Henry Ilalsey Childs of Pittstield, was born at the 
Child's homestead on Jubilee Hill, June 7, 1783. As a youth 
he was both noble hearted and noble minded. He graduated 
at Williams College in 1802. At that time all the Faculty and 
Trustees but one were Federalists, and his commencement ora- 
tion, which was submitted to the President for approval, was 
full of the rankest Jeffersonian Democracy. The utterance of 
what was considered heresy was forbidden and some harmless 
and probably glittering generalities substituted. But when it 
came his turn to speak out leaped the pestilent democracy. 
The President tried to stop him, but he could not be silenced ; 
he went on to the end amid mingled hisses and applause.'' 

And this typified what the young man was to be. He stud- 

160 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

ied medicine with Iris father, and commenced and carried on 
practice with him as long as his father lived. They introduced 
vaccination in spite of opposition, as the father had inoculation. 
In 1822, May, at a medical meeting, and the first after a long 
interval, Dr. Childs introduced the subject of a Medical Col- 
lege, urging it with his usual ardor, and that originated the 
Berkshire Medical College. From the time of its establish- 
ment he was its life and soul, and it died with him. 

His labors and sacrifices for the Berkshire Medical College, 
and the great good to this town and county and state and 
country coming from it, directly connected with the personality 
of this man, cannot be estimated; it suffices to say they were 
very great. 

lie had a large medical practice and for many years was a 
member of the Faculty of the medical colleges at Woodstock, 
Vt., and Willougby and Columbus, Ohio. 

His labors in the medical line were sufficient to employ all 
the time of an ordinary man, still he found time for the activi- 
ties of a zealous and uncompromising democrat. And in this 
direction he wielded great influence, for he was elected to 
represent the town in the Legislatures of 181C and 1827, and 
the Constitutional Convention of 1820; to the State Senate of 
1837, and as Lieut. Governor in 1843. 

In the Constitutional Convention, in advocating his motion 
to amend Article 3, in Bill of Bights, he particularly dis- 
tinguished himself as the champion of the voluntary system in 
the support of public worship. 

Dr. Childs, in motion to amend Article 3, in Bill of Bights, 
"As the happiness of a people and the good order and preserva- 
tion of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion 
and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through 
•a community but by the institution of the public worship of 
God, and as it is the inalienable right of every man to render 
that worship in the mode most consistent with the dictates of 
his own conscience, etc." 

One of his opponents was Webster, and Childs was defeated, 
but Webster afterwards admitted that he was wrong and that 
Dr. Childs was right. 

Medicine in Berkshire. 161 

But with all his enthusiasm and ardor in his pursuits, Dr. 
Childs was a Christian gentleman, lie was tender of the feel- 
ings and reputation of others. This was manifest in his deal- 
ings with those who were examined for the decree of M. 1). 

In 1803 Dr. Childs resigned. Resolutions of the Trustees 
of Berkshire Medical Institution: — "That the resignation of 
Dr. Childs requires from us more than a passing notice. For 
more than forty years he has been the active head of the Berk- 
shire Medical Institution, his usefulness having extended to a 
period almost unprecedented. Daring these years, by his 
energy and zeal, he has achieved a wide-spread reputation as a 
medical man; and, by his courtesy of manner and kindness of 
heart, a no less deserved name of a Christian gentleman, lie 
has ever maintained a high standard of medical honor, and his 
pupils must forget or ignore his teachings before they can stoop 
to anything base or ignoble. "With quick appreciation of merit, 
however modest, and ever ready with a timely word of needed 
encouragement, his pupils learned to love him, and thousands 
throughout the length and breadth of the land look back to 
him as to a foster father. While we regret the infirmities 
which compel the retirement of our venerable President from 
the active duties of instruction, we earnestly hope that the in- 
terests of the Institution, which is so identified with his life 
and name, may not abate, and that he may long be spared to 
speak words of cheer to the new generation of students and 
give the benefit of his advice and counsel to the Faculty and 

He was liberal and generous. As a Christian, he was in earnest. 
In 1821 he became a member of the First Congregational 
church, and as deacon and Sabbath-school scholar and President 
of the Berkshire Bible Society, he exemplified the grace, ten- 
derness and power of Christianity, lie was gentle, but strong; 
tender, yet true hearted; zealous, yet with meekness; having a 
strong will, yet under the dominion of a will superior to his 
own, with aspirations and affection which rested, not upon 
those near him, but reached forth as far as the mission of him 
whom he so faithfully served. 

It was sad, that desiring it so much, he did not in his last 

162 Berkshire .Historical and Scientific /Society. 

days rest liis eyes on the clear old hills of Berkshire, and com- 
mune with them; and with the deep blue arch studded with 
the stars that had, through the long lonely night rides, been to 
him an inspiration, filling him with trust and hope. 

He died in Boston, with his daughter, March, 18GS, in the 
eighty-fifth year of his age. 

In 1850 the Medical building was burned. The committee 
selected the site offered by Henry Colt, Esq., at the foot of 
South street, and in 1852 sold the old boarding house, thus ter- 
minating their connection with a place they had occupied for 
thirty years. . 

The new building was of pressed brick outside, well arranged 
and commodious. 

Dr. Oilman Kimball, Prof, of Surgery; Dr. Alonzo Clark, 
Prof, of General and Special Pathology; Dr. Benjamin K. 
Palmer, Prof, of Anatomy, were added to the Faculty in 18-13. 

Dr. Timothy Chi Ids was elected Secretary and Trustee in 
1848. In '63, Dr. II. II. Childs was succeeded by Dr. W. W. 
Seymour of Troy. Dr. William W. Green was Prof, of Sur- 
gery; Dr. It. C. Stiles, of Pathology; Dr. A. 13. Palmer, of 
Practice of Medicine; Dr. P. Chadbourne, of Chemistry and 
Natural History; Dr. Earle, of Diseases of the Nervous Sys- 
tem; Dr. T. Childs, of Military Surgery; Dr. Ford, of Physi- 

But the war was disastrous to the country medical schools • 
here, as elsewhere, and, with other causes added, resulted in a 
ruinous decrease of students. In 18GG only forty-one attended, 
in 1867, only thirty-three. The last course of lectures was de- 
livered in 1867, and Dr. F. Iv. Paddock, the last appointed 
professor, received his appointment as Professor of Urinology 
and Venereal Diseases in 1867. 

In 1870 the building was sold to Pittsiield, and April 29 j 
1871, Dr. C. A. Mills of this Society performed the last funeral 

Thus came to an end the, Berkshire Medical Institution 
which was the offspring of this Society, which had carefully re- 
ceived attention for forty-four years, and had graduated 1*120 

Medicine in J jerks fare. 103 

The prophecy that "it would he of much utility to the medi- 
cal profession, to the country and to the world" was abundantly 

" Voted. — That Dr. Daniel Collins deliver the dissertation 
at the next semi-annual meeting." 

"Doctor Daniel Collins was horn in Lenox, Dec. 19, 1774. 
The second of three brother physicians — preparing for college 
at the Academy in Lenox and graduating at Williams College 
in 1800; soon after commenced the study of medicine with 
Dr. Lewis; completed his professional studies and began the 
practice of medicine with his older brother, Luke, at Louisville, 
Kentucky. This brother was an earlier graduate of Williams 
and student of Dr. Lewis. 

Dr. Collins' residence in Kentucky gave him an experience 
in the treatment of febrile diseases that he would not ordinarily 
have had, and enabled him to treat successfully a large number 
of cases during an unusual prevalence of fever in this vicinity, 
at the time of his return, and gave him a local reputation that 
he ever after retained. Fond of study and scientific investiga- 
tion, he was well acquainted with the theory and practice of 
his profession, possessing a retentive memory and having for 
those days a large and well selected general library, which he 
thoroughly read. lie was entertaining and instructive in con- 
versation, and took much pleasure in sharing with others any 
information he acquired; and, had ambition impelled him 
might have obtained celebrity. He was fond of military drill 
and parade, marched to Boston commanding a company from 
this town in 1S12, and held the rank of colonel in our militia 
service. Of a commanding presence, possessing many noble 
and generous qualities, he had the confidence and good will of 
those under his command. 

After his sojourn of a couple of years or so in Kentucky, he 
returned to Lenox, where he resided until his death, which oc- 
curred March 9, 1817." (J. G. Stanly, letter.) 

Dr. Collins, in his youth, was called by the ladies a very 
handsome man. 11a was an excellent scholar and tine linguist. 
He stood very high in the esteem of his medical brethren. 


104 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Keen in observation, original in reasoning, independent in hie 
judgment; his counsel was sought after in difficult cases. 

He stood very high in the Society, being elected President, 
besides tilling honorable and responsible positions. (Corres- 

"Doctor William II. Tyler was born in Lanesborougli, May 
18, 1780, lie worked upon his father's farm until eighteen 
years of age. Studied with Dr. Silas Hamilton, in Saratoga, 
one year. Continued them with Dr. Joseph Jarvis of Lanes- 
borough, and completed them with Dr. Asa Burbank of the 
same town, occupying about three and one-half years. "And 
then," he says, "I was privileged with a full course of medical 
lectures in Columbia College, New York. The Marine Hospi- 
tal was at hand ; hones, muscles, arteries and veins were no 
longer presented to the imagination only, I could examine them 
with my eye and the dissecting knife. Drs. Post, Kodgers, 
Stringham, Hosack and llaminersly were the professors." At 
that time a spirited discussion was going on on contagion and 
non-contagiou of Yellow fever. 

"Dr. Tyler commenced practice in Lanesborougli in 1815, 
and soon had an extensive ride. He practiced among the best 
families in and out of town, and the poor he never liegleeted 
whether there was prospect of remuneration or not. He was 
associated with the best medical men in the county, among 
them Drs. Timothy Childs, H. II. Childs, Delamater, Batchel- 
der and Towner. He was an honored member of the Massa- 
chusetts Medical Society, Censor, Councillor and President of 
the Berkshire Medical Society, and always enjoyed to a high 
degree the confidence and esteem of his medical brethren." In 
1815, 20, 31 and 35 he represented his town in Legislature and 
Congressional Convention with usefulness and great credit to 

Dr. Tyler practiced thirty-four years in Lanesborougli, and 
the intimate friendship with Gov. Gr. N. Briggs terminated 
only with his death. 

In a letter to him March 10, LS50, he says, "Dear Sir, 1 was 
very much gratified on the reception of a stall' marked 'G. JS T . 
Briggs to W. II. Tyler.' It is Ions enough, strong enough, 

Medicine in Berkshire. Ifi5 

large enough and handsome enough, and as good for aught I 
know as Jacob's when lie passed over the Jordan, or when lie 
leaned upon the head of it and worshipped and blessed the sons 
of Joseph." 

lie thus writes, "The day my limb was amputated T asked the 
Lord if there might he fifteen years added to my earthly exist- 
ence. He has added that and more, and I ought to say in humble 
submission, the Lord's will be done, I think 1 have tried to do 
good in my day and generation to my fellows, my friends and 
my enemies, but the world is about ready to spare me now and 
and I want to be ready to go when required." 

"I have had an anxious, arduous and laborious life, and have 
not been more than one-half remunerated for it. I have tried 
to be an honor to the medical profession, and obtain honor and 
a good reputation ; but very many of the faculty have dis- 
honored themselves by dishonest and intriguing efforts to ob- 
tain business. Quackery and pretension to skill have sup- 
planted and broken down many who were worthy of the best 
public patronage." 

" I have continued my medical reading even until now (eighty 
years old). At the present day (1S5G) a great assortment of 
doctors has sprung into existence, and the human family are 
humbugged and cheated, — I wish they knew how much — for, 
notwithstanding, I have spent a long life in reading and investi- 
gating this abstruse science, my lesson is half unlearned." 

Dr. Tyler was a very devout, thoughtful Christian. He 
philosophises, "Who is I? I think I is a sentient spirit, an im- 
mortal soul, that will know and be known by other spirits or 
souls when separated from the body. God is a spirit. Spirits 
must have some property in common. What is it? Do spirits 
have any matter in their composition?" 

These extracts serve to show that Dr. Tyler was a constant 
reader, and conscientious practioner, regardful, not alone of his 
patients, but of his profession as well. 

I remember him with his furrowed face and short bushy 
hair, and kindness of manner, and his carefulness in making 
up his opinion, and his gentleness with his junior brethren. 

lfiO Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

To crown all, he was an excellent father and neighbor and 
citizen, because lie was a sincere Christian. 

As Paul said, "By the grace of God I am what 1 am," so 
said Dr. Tyler; and died in the faith Dec. 6th, aged eighty- 
eight and one-half years. 

Doctor Abel Kittredge was born in Tewksbury, Mass., in 
1773, settled as a physician in the town of Hinsdale in 1801. 
lie was the first and only physician in the town for twenty- 
five years, and had a large practice there and surrounding 
towns. lie was commissioned as surgeon's mate in one of the 
Massachusetts regiments in 1812, by Gov. Caleb Strong. He 
died in 1847, aged seventy-four years, lie was brother of Dr. 
William Kittredge, then settled in Pittsfield. 

"In 1827, a disease in his eyes, called '"Western Sore Eyes,' 
almost entirely destroyed his sight for several years, obliging 
him to abandon the practice of his profession. He afterwards 
was much interested in agriculture, being one of the largest 
farmers in the town." 

" In 1797 he married Miss Eunice Chamberlain of Dalton, and 
had four sons and six daughters. He had a noble, generous na- 
ture, full of kindness and aid to the suffering and needy, and was 
foremost in supporting education, good moral and religious in- 
stitutions in the town." Correspondence. 

The following anecdote of Dr. Abel Kittredge is told by 
Mr. F. :— 

"When quite a young man he (Mr. F.) bought .some sheep 
which he sold within a few days at a profit of one hundred 
dollars. Soon after the doctor meeting him, said, " Well, Mr. 
F.j I hear you have made a hundred dollars within four days." 
Mr. F. admitted that he had. "Young man," said the doctor, 
"you will find that the dearest hundred dollars you ever had," 
which the sequel shows was doubted, as he made a second pur- 
chase and gained another profit. Buying the third time, he 
took the sheep to New York and this time lost all he had 
sained. Mr. F. was forced to acknowledge that the doctor was 
right. It exemplified his belief in small economies and moder- 
ate profits as the best foundations for a young man's prosperity ; 
along with that first requisite in all dealings — integrity. 


Medicine in Berkshire. Bi7 

Dr. Kittredge wits a satisfactory physician to most people in 
his region. He was respected and public-spirited. Though 
for some years before his death he had discontinued practice, 
he was still keenly interested in public affairs." 

Doctor Charles Worthington was born Aug. 27, 1778, and 
died May 23, 1840. 

There is no history (medical) except that gleaned from the 
records of the Society. 

"Voted. — That Charles Worthington be Treasurer and Li- 
brarian." He was on the committee of inspection to investi- 
gate the concerns of the Medical Institute. < 

"Voted. — That Dr. Charles Worthington be appointed to de- 
liver a dissertation at the next annual meeting." He was on 
the committee "to take into consideration' the subject of our 
annual assessments and initiation fees." This was a long stand- 
ing and grievous matter with the parent Society. 

In 1830 he was elected Vice-president of the Society. 

These different records show r that he stood \ery high in the 
esteem and confidence of his medical brethren. 

M Doctor Robert Worthington of Lenox, was born Sept. 29, 
1791, and died August, 1856. 

He was well known as a physician, having long resided in 
the county. He was for a number of years secretary of the 
Berkshire Medical Society, and was honored and esteemed, as 
the records of the Society show, by his medical brethren. But 
not only in the walks of professional life was he well known, 
but in the toilsome though honorable and useful walks of 
Christian benevolence. He was a member of the Congrega- 
tional church in Lenox, and one on whom much is imposed 
and sustained with ability and constancy. He was for many 
years Treasurer of the Berkshire Bible Society, and by that 
Society made a Life Director in the American Bible Society. 
He was Secretary of the County Seamen's Friend Society, and 
an earnest friend of every measure of popular reform. Ilis 
Christian faith was vital, energetic, active, and hence we must 
believe the true faith that works by love. His memory will 
always be cherished with honor. 

They were sons of Capt. Daniel and Mrs. Lois (Foote) 

1 08 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Worthington, and were born in Colchester, Conn. The family 
removed to Lenox probably in the early part of this century, 
and there the parents and the two sons above named died.'* 

" Doetor John M. Brewster was born Oct. 22, 1789 in Becket, 

His early education was at the Lenox Academy while Mr. 
Gleason was principal, lie commenced the study of medicine 
under the instruction of his father; attended a course of lectures 
in New Haven in 1810, and graduated at the Medical School 
in Boston under Dr. Jackson, in 1812; reached home the very 
day his father was brought home dead of apoplexy, and com- 
menced immediately the practice of medieine at his native 
place where he remained till 1821 when he removed to Lenox, 
and was a successful physician in that and neighboring towns 
for sixteen years, lie was Town Clerk there two years. 

In April, 1837, he removed to Pittstield, purchased the old 
homestead of Gen. Willis and continued his profession with 
zeal, fidelity and suceess for thirty years, making in all fifty- 
live years of continuous practice. 

" I J is physical constitution was of the most robust kind. Till 
after he was seventy years of age he would mount his horse 
with no other help then the stirrups and ride with grace and 

The old Brewster homestead is one of the historic landmarks, 
inasmuch as it has the credit of having been a station of the 
underground railroad for fugitives from the South on their 
way to Canada and freedom. 

Dr. Brewster welcomed to his home Gerritt Smith, Elihu 
Burritt, Henry A\ r ilson and many of the early anti-slavery ad- 
vocates. The friendship that existed between himself and the 
Hon. Charles Sumner (of glorious memory) was constant and 
unabated to the close of life." 

He was an anti-slaver man when it cost something to be one 
— as far back as when James G. Birney was candidate for 

Studious of social proprietry and civil obligations, he firmly 
and conscientiously took his chances on the side of manhood 

Medicine in Berkshire. 169 

and right and calmly and quietly awaited the result." Corres- 

Need it he said that his grand conduct as husband, father, 
neighbor, citizen and physician was the outcome of a character 
which was born of Jesus of Nazareth. 

lie died May 3, 1869, aged eighty years. 

" Doctor Robert Campbell, son of David Campbell, the elder 
was born at Pittsfiold, 1796; graduated at the Berkshire Medi- 
cal College, 1822, having commenced his studies before the 
foundation of that institution. No Pittslield man, of his gen- 
eration at least, excelled him in mental power or liberal culture. 
The 'variety of the subjects of which he acquired accurate and 
practical knowledge was remarkable. His skill in his profes- 
sion was widely recognized although he abandoned it in the 
prime of his life. His thirst for study and experiment was 
ardent; he possessed extreme conscientiousness, displayed not 
only in business integrity, but in all the affairs of life." (His- 
tory of Pittsfiehl) 

" Doctor Jioyal Fowler of Stockbridge, took the place of Dr. 
Jones. He was horn 1786, and a native of Pittslield. He 
practiced at first in Barrington. He was a peculiarly careful 
physician and much confided in by his patients." 

He was a member of the Berkshire Medical Society and 
from the records I gather that he was highly esteemed and 
confided in by his fellow members, being placed often in po- 
sitions of responsibility, and his record as a citizen and physi- 
cian is irreproachable. 

u llii was a Christian and died in great peace Sept. 20, 1849, 
at the age of sixty-three." 

We resume the meetings of the Society. 

In 1827 the Society meetings revolved around the court in 
Lenox and the cattle show in Pittslield. 

In '39 we meet a vote as follows: "That certain resolutions 
upon the subject of intemperance this day presented, after 
being revised by the president and secretary, l>e adopted and 
printed in the county newspapers, signed by the president and 
secretary. The president was Dr. Perry of Stockbridge, and 
as in 1S37, he established by his energetic efforts at that place 

170 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

an auxiliary temperance society, at that time when it was ex- 
ceedingly unpopular to advocate that question, we have no doubt 
but these resolutions were from him. Dr. Hawks of North 
Adams, says of 1829, "At that time New England was drenched 
with rum and cider brandy." Another writer says, "The 
habits of intemperance, thriftlessness and dissipation generally 
which existed in the years immediately following the Revolu- 
tion still continued." We glory then in the heroism of a mem- 
ber of our Society, who, at that time, gave such a sharp rebuke 
to the habit to which, no doubt, some of his medical brethren 
were subject; and at the same time, by its record, placing the 
Society on the side of temperance. From '34 to '3? there is 
no record of meeting. We search in vain for the wherefore 
except the conjecture of dissatisfaction on the relation of the 
district to the parent Society. 

In '2D a committee was appointed to take into consideration 
the subject of "our annual assessments and initiation fees, and 
report the best or most proper course to be pursued by the So- 
ciety to obtain relief." 

Jan. 30, the committee reported and it was voted, "That that 
part of the report advising a separation from the parent Society 
be rejected." 

May 31, "That a committee be appointed to consider the 
subject matter of the petition of the physicians from this 
county, and also the subject of difference between the fellows 
of this county and the parent Society." 

"That this committee be instructed to contend for or insist 
upon the abandonment of the whole annual assessment to this 

Next meeting, '32, this vote was amended so that the in- 
struction was to compromise for the payment of one dollar per 
annum of the assessment to the parent Society. At the next 
meeting the contest continued in a somewhat varied form. 

The meetings of October and December must have been 
very exciting- and condemnatory of the parent Society. Votes 
were passed, then rescinded, and it is evident that these meet- 
ings must have been very wearying to the flesh. 

In '33 this subject is continued in a report which it is stated 

Medicine in Uerks/nre. 171 

that after "an investigation, this district Society is entitled to 
the sum of $81.53, and our treasurer is directed to retain in his 
hands said sum." 

There is no record of meeting again till 1837, an interim of 
four years. In '37 a spasmodic effort was made for a revival, 
but there was only one meeting. This was a time of great 
financial depression and ruin, and was no doubt the efficient 
reason for the discontinuance of the meetings. 

In looking hack through this period we are impressed with the 
fact that the profession is standing on a higher plane than dur- 
ing that preceding. The rules are more dignified and elastic. 
They concede more to individual honor. Command is suc- 
ceeded by an appeal to the better and higher nature. The 
business complications and wranglings with the parent Society 
and the interests of the Medical Institution occupy much of 
the time to the exclusion of professional matters, probably to 
the disgust of some members, still, there are many carefully 
prepared papers and many interesting cases brought to the 
thought of the Society, with a finer and richer enthusiasm than 

In 1812 there was a reorganization. The Society starts again 
with nearly the same leaders. 

Of the eighty-five names upon the record sheet of 1812, all 
are dead or removed but eight. 

There were two yearly meetings, one at Lenox and one at 
Pittsfield. This arrangement held till '02, when the meetings 
were held in Pittslield. There was no special interest for ten 
years and the old troubles with the parent Society were still in 

We note the resolutions upon Dr. Royal Fowler by Dr. 11. 
Worthington, June, 1850: "Whereas, God in his righteous 
providence, has removed by death Dr. Royal Fowler, a beloved 
and faithful fellow laborer in the medical profession, and re- 
cently President of this Society, thus depriving us of the 
presence and counsel of one who was usually "at his post 1 ' at 
the regular meetings of this Society, Therefore, Resolved, That 
while we would humbly and submissively feel and acknowledge 
the hand of God in this event we enter upon the records this 

172 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

testimonial of our estimation of his character and usefulness as 
a scientific and successful practioner of medicine, a faithful and 
devoted friend to the interests and prosperity of the medical 
profession, and above all would we gratefully acknowledge the 
goodness of the 'Great Physician,' that in addition to the 
above traits of character, he possessed and was enabled to ex- 
emplify the character of a meek and humble follower of the 
Saviour. And we would accompany this testimonial with the 
sincere aspiration that we may all, having faithfully discharged 
our individual and relative duties be prepared like him to de- 
part in peace." No one could desire a better testimonial. It 
testifies to eminence in the profession, to faithfulness in his ob- 
ligations to his medical brethren, to a fulness and sweetness of 
character which made his life an inspiration. But rarely does 
the resolution equally reveal the character of the writer. This 
is a transparency, revealing behind it a firm, self-reliant Chris- 
tian physician, one who could enter upon a journal the exuber- 
ant joy in the character of 'his friend, and a desire for confor- 
mation to his high standard of life. 

In 1852 we notice that Dr. A. Williams reported a case of 
Peritonitis treated successfully with large doses of opium. Dr. 
Clark and Dr. Childs have both been credited with the origina- 
tion of this manner of treating Peritonitis. 

This claim, if it be a claim, we do not think can be substan- 
tiated. Years before, this treatment was practiced by Dr. Smith 
of Williamstown. It was not original with him. It is probable 
that in Berkshire, Dr. Towner would be found the one who was 
the rescuer, if not originator of this practice, and that it was 
continued in a large degree by Dr. Smith. 

In the early part of 1854 we have two fine addresses. One 
from Dr. Babbitt on Tubercular Diseases, "rich in facts and 
replete with sound medical principles for which able addresses 
the Society voted thanks. One from Dr. George S. Lyman, 
setting forth the true mission of our profession replete with 
wholesome sentiments of great literary merit." In 1854, Dr. 
White, "then President, interested the Society for half an hour 
with a condensed history of his life, lie intimated that he 
had been laboring under disease of the heart from early life 

Medicine in Berkshire. 173 

which had been a source of serious embarrassment during his 
professional career. In '55 a vote of thanks was tendered to 
Dr. White for his faithfulness and courtesy as President of this 

'58 marks a new departure in the history of this Society. 
The story is this. At a meeting in July remarks were made by 
Dr. Collins, eritizmg the manner of conducting the meetings, 
asking for more method and suggesting that "the president 
make an individual call upon the fellows to relate anything of 
interest which has occurred in the practice of each since the 
last meeting, and that ten minutes be allowed each fellow for 
recital." After dinner he made some very spirited and caustic 
remarks relative to the inefficiency of the Society. 

The brethren mutually pledged themselves to be more mind- 
ful of the future meetings of the Society. 

In November following, it was voted, though the journal 
does not state that the motion was made by Dr. Collins, that 
there be monthly meetings and except the annual meeting at 
Lenox, be held in Pittsfield. 

What was impossible in the beginning was possible now, 
whatever a few years before was impracticable was practicable 

The meetings became fully attended and very interesting. 

About June, '59, Dr. Jackson initiated the custom of giving 
a dinner at the monthly meeting. They are styled, in the Jour- 
nal, as "sumptuous," "elegant," etc. 

Those of us who partook of them will bear witness that the 
adjectives descriptive were none too strong. 

We all know that Dr. Sabin was a good feeder, and ap- 
preciated a good dinner. Now this motion of his at the Jack- 
son dinner testifies not only to the dinner but to himself as en- 
tirely satisfied therewith: "I move, Mr. President, that the 
thanks of the Society be tendered to Dr. Jackson for the 
sumptuous entertainment he has furnished. Also, to Mr. 
I lowland for the efficient manner in which he has executed the 
order of Dr. Jackson. Carried unanimously." 

The dinner speeches were good and productive in cementing 
friendship and good will. 

174 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

The Great Barrlngton entertainments of Dr. Collins were 
always " swell," that of '60 especially; nearly fifty medical men 

were present. Many letters were read; speeches were fired oil". 
The serihe was evidently deeply stirred, lie writes: "Evening 
shadows were gathering about ns (four hours having been spent 
around the cheerful and hospitable table) and the guests left the 
hall to be charmed by the music of Curtis cornet band. In a 
social view this probably was the most delightful meeting the So- 
ciety ever held." Much is certainly owing to Dr. Collins for 
his zeal in behalf of the Society ; his earnest endeavor to make it 
practical and scientific. His death was the loss of a true and 
sterling friend. 

Certainly the meetings were never more vigorous than dur- 
ing the ten years from '52 to '62, The meetings were very 
fully attended; the cases reported interesting and freely and 
fully discussed, and were so reported upon the journal that 
they are of great value. 

The reports of Drs. Stiles and Cady are especially excellent 
and worthy of praise. The interest seemed at almost fever 

The day of the February meeting in '61, the storm was so 
severe that the meeting was held at the Berkshire Hotel, and 
seventeen members were present. The active members at that 
time were: Drs. IT. 11. and T. Childs, Collins, Lucas, Brewster, 
Lawrence, Williams, Cady, Meacham, Doming, Smith, of 
Pittsfield; Duncan, Miller, Holmes, Manning, Kittredge, 
Streeter, DcWolf, Root and Starkweather. Of this number 
only one remains (1890.) 

The presidents during this time, Drs. Sabin, White, II. 11. 
Childs, Ferre, Timothy Childs and Clarkson Collins are all 
dead. Dr. Timothy Childs was one of the finest presidents 
this Society ever had. Prompt in his decisions, thoroughly 
versed in parliamentary practice, cool, clear-headed, he kept the 
Society always at their work. 

in one of the exciting and acrimonious discussions in the 
amphitheatre of the college building he impressed me as one 
of the best presiding officers 1 ever knew. 

He was also a fine surgeon. He had an originally line mind, 

Medicine in Berkshire. 1 75 

and a college education with abundant opportunity, had ripened 
him into a bold and skillful surgeon. He was a fluent and 
easy lecturer. He kept himself posted on and abreast of all 
improved methods, and his sad and untimely death brought 
deep sorrow to a host of. friends. 

Once when operating before the Society, his patient, a little 
boy whose deformed arm he was trying to remedy while under 
an aiuesthetic, ceased to breathe. So did we all. But the 
energetic and tireless efforts in artificial respiration were not 
remitted till the spirit which seemed to have been launched 
into the boundless ocean was brought back from the land of 
shadows to life and light. 

The last annual meeting at Lenox was in '02. The removal 
of the court house in making Pittstield the shire town removed 
all meetings to Pittstield, except when the Society accepted 
special invitations from fellows to meet with them, and those 
at Great Harrington, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Lee, North and 
South Adams and Williamstown, were occasions of great pleas- 
ure as well a6 profit. 

About '()() the Society received the addition of Drs. Stiles, 
Thayer and Green. 

Dr. Green was at first Professor of Materia Medica, then to 
that was added military surgery. Still later principles and 
practice of surgery, and clinical surgery. It is needless for me 
to eulogize him for he was known to most of you. 

lie was the first surgeon who originated the extirpation of 
Bronchocele, on Oct. 11), T)0. D\\ Green's relation of the case 
will be found in the Medical Record of Nov. 15, 'GO. Drs. 
Smith and Paddock were eye-witnesses of this remarkable 

lie was a delegate from Portland, Me., in 1881 to the Inter- 
national Medical Congress, lie made remarks in criticism of 
some points in "Listerism." And the ideas he enunciated are 
now the rule in surgery. Returning from the Congress he died 
at sea. A notice of him says: "lie was a leading physician of 
Portland ; confessedly one of the ablest surgeons in Maine*, and 
one of the most skillful in the country." 

Ue was for three years Secretary of this -Society, and his 

176 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

modesty, great-heartedness and geniality made him a multitude 
of friends. 

Drs. Stiles and Thayer are well known in connection with 
the Berkshire Medical Journal which began its publication in 
January, 1861. 

It was an admirable journal, and many of the papers are 
even to-day of great scientific and practical interest 

The reports of the Society published in it are very complete, 
that of April occupying twelve closely printed Journal pages. 

The stimulus to the Society was very great, but the " over- 
whelming interest," which took its editors into the field, and 
crushed half of the Medical Journals of that year, brought this 
to finis with its 12th number. It was of incalculable benefit to 
the Society through its broad and discreet management and ad- 
mirable reports. 

Watts says : 

" AVliilo the lump holds out to bum 
The vilest simier may return." 

The proof of that was at the last annual meeting at Lenox, 
May 14, 1862, when this communication came before the So- 
ciety : 

"To the President of Berkshire Medical Society. — The un- 
dersigned, a graduate of Berkshire Medical College, having 
practiced Homeopathy for several years, from an assurance of 
its friends, in whom he had coniidence, that its potency in dis- 
ease promised more certain relief to sufferers than the Allo- 
pathic treatment, hereby affirms that he has no coniidence in it 
as a system of practice, and that he believes it his duty, as well 
to himself as to the public, to thus declare, and, that it is his 
sincere desire to take an honorable position, under his diploma, 
in the profession, and to observe fully and faithfully the rules 
and by-laws of the Massachusetts Medical Society." 

And he kept on eating "crow" till December, '02, when 
with drooping crest he begged to come out of the rot of Homeo- 
pathy under the old umbrella. Dr. Childs' great fatherly heart 
made a place for him. 

One hundred years ago the Association had for its objects : 
First, Observation and Communication; Second, A Spirit of 

Medicine in Berkshire. 177 

Union; Third, Respectability. To-day in this Society these 
objects are amply fulfilled. The pages of the record show how 
accurate the observations are, and how admirably they are com- 
municated. The spirit of union as far as known is perfect and 
no cloud threatens its perpetuity. 

Foremost in all the questions which lie at the foundations of 
public health and life, thoroughly alive to the medical progress 
of the day both in art and science, tilling in all our communities 
responsible and honorable positions, the medical profession of 
Jjerkshire has no cause to question its respectability. 

The two great objects to be obtained in any medical associa- 
tion are cohesion and growth. 

Cohesion requires that the atoms should be similar and in 
contact. For this reason there can be no cohesion between the 
students of nature and the students of Hahnemann, between 
regular medicine and homeopathy. The atoms are not similar. 

There can be no contact without association, no association 
without mutual esteem, no mutual esteem without acquaint- 

Coming together monthly, communicating our cases and 
treatment we find ourselves, at times, confronted with criticism 
and suggestions, which even if they prick the bag of conceit, 
and thereby give us a fall, yet, make us in after time stronger 
and wiser. 

It does great good to one marching forward with the idea 
that all the world is under his umbrella, to have it whirled out 
of his hands, that his eyes may take in the unlimited expanse 
around and above him. Nothing like a live society like this to 
pull a man out of the ruts and keep him out. 

Growth of a society means growth of its members. There is 
no growth except there is an assimilation of appropriate nourish- 
ment. That, for a medical man, is truth as developed from 
accurate observation of facts and a generalization upon a suffi- 
cient number. 

The scrappy relation of a case with treatment to match is, 
for a medical society, eating sawdust. There must be brain 
work of the highest order in careful analysis and deduction 
with the largest possible elimination of the personal equation 

178 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

if the pabalmn is adapted to growth. And the vitalizing prin- 
ciple must not he wanting. 

There must be mutual esteem and consideration of one for 
■another. This exists in eminent degree in this Society. 

We have long ago sailed past the rule which enjoins us to 
treat one another "without ridicule" — "with candor and de- 
cency." Even so far, that we should consider it an insult were 
any one to point us to it. 

Standing to-day on the vantage ground of great discoveries 
in both the art and science of Physic — looking proudly, as we 
must, upon the facilities for thorough medical education in 
which Harvard leads the country — glorying in the grand medi- 
cal charities which are seen on every hand — with minds intent 
upoifthe great medical problems, which, with their solution, 
will banish many of our fatal diseases — there should be no con- 
gratulations more fervid than that with which the Berkshire 
Medical Society greets the new century. Centennial address, 
Oct. 27, 1S87. ' 

I have now noticed one hundred and five physicians who 
practiced in Berkshire commencing as early as 1743. In 
nearly every respect there is an almost infinite difference be- 
tween the then and now. Then this Berkshire was a wilder- 
ness — conveyance on horseback guided by marked trees — popu- 
lation sparse — the arts in a rudimentary state. As for the science 
of medicine then it could scarcely merit the name rudimen- 
tary. These physicians had neither stethoscope, opthahnoscope, 
microscope, endoscope or chemical thermometer — none of the 
elegant and eflicient preparations which chemistry has furnished 
to us. They collected, prepared and pounded their own medi- 
cines. Oloroform, ether and quinine were unknown. 

They could say with Cerimon— (Pericles Act 3, Sec. 2.)— 

" Tis known I ever 
Have studied physic, through which secret art, 
By turning o'er authorities, I have 
(Together with my practice) made familiar 
To me and to my aid, the blest infusions 
That dwell in vegitives, in metals, stones ; 
And 1 can speak of the disturbances 
That nature works, and of her cures, which ffive me 

Medicine in Berkshire. 1 7 ( .) 

A more content in course of true delight, 
Thau to be thirsty after tottering honor, 
Or tie my treasure up in silken bags 
To please the fool and death." 

Among them, sixteen were college educated, two Dartmouth, 
three Harvard, five Yale, five Williams, one unknown. But 
those who never trod academic halls were; self -educated , as we 
say, which is the best of all education. [Tow did these early 
physicians become such strong and correct thinkers? Not alone 
•or chieily because they were forced by stern necessity to a 
vocation which would procure for themselves and those de- 
pending on them, daily bread, -but because they were impelled 
by desire "the wings of the soul," "which is indeed, (as Wilson 
says) essential to all greatness, enlargement and strength of 
soul; by which the uneonquered patriot hopes his country's de- 
liverance, and the good man hopes that his just purpose shall 
succeed against the opposition and division of the world." 

Says North, "There have been those who have found the 
power to bring down good among men, and have used it. -Men 
simple in their spirit, not radiant in genius, not strong in power, 
not pouring out the dazzling and exuberant wealth of their 
own minds before men's eyes, but pouring out their spirit 
through their hearts — men unconscious of themselves, but who 
have brought down good into the life of men by bringing it 
first into their own." 

They were men, broad in manhood, generous in sympathy, 
mindful of the poor, became love of humanity, "pure, gener- 
ous and heroic, in its every heigth of strength sacrificing, itself 
to its object or to solemn duties, enabled them by its own in- 
tense strength to make that sacrifice." 

Yes, these men were strong hearted and heroic. The howl- 
ing winds and pitiless storms, when wild winter had wrapped 
these Berkshire hills in a snowy shroud, or the stars in the deep 
bine vault which looked down upon them in guidance in their 
long lonely rides, or the sick in t]iQ. rude log cabin far from the 
busy haunts of men, whose soul as well as body were gladdened 
by their ministrations, they would testify of their heroism. 

But these men were not only physicians making the best use 

180 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

of what they had, — and first rate work at that — but they were 
in the fullest and best sense of the word, citizens. We know 
seven of them took an active part in the Revolution, one in 
the war of 1755, live in the war of 1S12; most of them were 
either Town Clerk, Selectmen or Justice of the Peace; many 
of them were Representatives or Senators ; three of them were 
Judges of Court of Common Pleas; one was Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor. It is striking, in all the communications made to me 
what uniform mention is made of the interest of these men in 
public education. 

In Pittsfield, wdiat a debt of honor and gratitude is owing to 
its Childs and Brewsters, in the same regard. The Berkshire 
Medical College stood for a long time the monument to the 
unconquerable zeal and wisdom and devotion of II. II. Childs 
in the education of men spread far and near, who were a bless- 
to their nice. And with him were associated Burbank, and 
Collins, and Burghardt, and the Worthingtons, and Fowler, 
and Bartlett, and Perry, and Tyler, and Delamater, and Brews- 
ter, and Batchelder, and Dewey. Men of classic education and 
strong and earnest. 

What of good (it must have been immense) this institution 
has achieved can never be known. 

And so all through this County the early physicians had 
great influence in moulding public affairs. Even those relat- 
ing to anti-slavery and temperance; they went forward as the 
pioneer corps, ushering in the true and the best. 

Over these early physicions and citizens was thrown the ra- 
dient mantle of Christianity. TJtere was the hiding of their 
power. The profession of medicine is Christ-like, and some of 
these physicians have been spoken of, as going about doing- 
good. The majority were professing Christians and many of 
them deacons. 

Now, in view of what these men were as scholars, active in 
mind as w T cll as bod^, eagerly seeking for opportunities to do 
something noble, as physiciams with extensive practice, touch- 
ing multitudes of people in the tenderest places of humanity, 
— with zeal generally according to knowledge, — as citizens, tak- 
ing a larger share in the matters of civil government, deeply in- 

Medicine in Berkshire. 181 

terested in education, knowing that true education was the vital- 
ity of tlie Commonwealth; maintainors of tlie sanctity of the 
Sabbath and public worship; zealous for the Bible, and readers of 
it, and in their lives exemplifying its teaching, what must their 
inevitable influence and power have been in the normal de- 
velopment of Berkshire County. 

The Protestant Episcopae 
Church in Berkshire. 

By Rev. JOSEPH HOOPER, Lebanon Si-kings, N. Y. 


The planting of the Church of England in Berkshire county 
is an unwritten chapter of local history. 

Mr. Charles J. Taylor, in his clear and accurate history of 
Great Bairington, details the events that led to the formation 
of a parish of the English church in that town. 

Mr. J. E. A. Smith, in his well-written history of Pittsficld, 
tells the story of the dissensions in the Congregational society 
that induced the formation of other religious societies. 

For the other towns, the brief sketches in the old History of 
Berkshire compiled by Dr. David D. Field, the centennial dis- 
course of the Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Shaw at Lanesborough in 
1S07, and the memoir of the Rev. Thomas Davies are the 
only printed material. The late Rev. Dr. Samuel P. Parker, 
in his paper read before this Society in August, 1880, while 
giving some particulars of the origin of the parishes of the 
Protestant Episcopal church, dwells rather upon their later his- 
tory and his own valuable personal recollections for nearly fifty 

Since that paper was delivered some interesting historical 
documents have come to light that make the preparation of a 
complete history possible. They consist of a copy from the 
Hies of the Society for the Proposition of the Gospel in Foreign 
Parts; of the correspondence of the Rev. Gideon Bostwick 
from 1770 to 1775 ; the Petition of the Great Barrington district 
to be erected into a mission, Oct. 176,9, and a portion of the 
autobiography of the Rev. Daniel Burhans, relating princi- 
pally to his work in this county, written by him in 1853, when 
he; was in his ninety-first year. In addition the manuscript 
records of Trinity church, Lenox, have afforded many items of 
real value. 


186 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

The settlers of this county were principally members of Con- 
gregational churches, and each town was an ecclesiastical and 
civil unit. The town and society were inseparable, and in the 
midst of entries in the records for the opening of roads, the 
building of bridges, the surveying of boundaries, we find those 
for the calling of a minister and his support, — by town tax, for 
cutting his fuel, for the building of a meeting-house and the 
election of church officers. Congregationalism was established 
in the province, and dissenters from it w r ere only permitted to 
worship God in the manner their conscience dictated by special 
exemption in town meeting from the tax levied to maintain 
public worship according to the Congregational order. Such c 
dissenters had to procure certiiicates from the religious teachers 
whose ministrations they attended, that they were regular mem- 
bers of the society over which these teachers presided. In 1742 
a special act of exemption was passed by the General Court for 
the benefit of members of the Church of England, by which 
their proportion of the town tax for the support of a gospel 
minister was to be paid to their priest or missionary by the 
Treasurer of the town upon his certifying that these persons 
were members of the Church of England. In some old church 
families, and in the records of many counties may be seen such 
certificates, yellow with age, quaint in chirography and phrase- 
ology, bearing oftentimes two names by ministers settled fifty 
miles or more from the towns for which they were given, it 
adds to our regard for their faithfulness and earnestness that 
these ministers with a suilicient amount of parochial work at 
home to occupy them would take the long journeys in a par- 
tially settled country to care for the souls of these scattered 
children of the church. 

The founders of the colony of Massachusetts were men who 
came to the new world to break away from many political and 
religious disadvantages. If they were not all, by conviction, 
independents or Drownists in religion, they were republicans 
in politics. The disabilities suffered in Massachusetts by those 
who did not conform to Congregational government were due 
principally to the narrowness of the age, to the sternness of 
character their Calvinistic sentiments, as a rule, foster and to 

The Protectant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 1*7 

the political doctrines of those who had established in their 

New England, as they fondly boasted, a state without a king 
and a church without a bishop. It is not the province of this 
paper to discuss the relative merits of the theories of church 
government, but only to show how the rights of individuals to 
serve God in the way their religious instincts prompt, were vin- 
dicated by the bold stand taken by many prominent men in this 
county more than a century ago, and how the Episcopal govern- 
ment of the church was not fostered by tyranny and checked 
progress as was so strongly asserted then. 

Judge Chamberlain, in his thoughtful essay upon John. 
Adams, before the Webster Society last January, makes the 
best defence of the Puritans, when he says, "They had come 
hither, not so much to erect a state as a church ; and if, after a 
time, the two became one, that one was the church-state, not 
a state church, between which there is an immense difference. 
They set it up for themselves, not for others. To that liberal- 
ity of toleration the} 7 made no pretension as is so often forgot- 
ten. To their new home came unwelcome intruders; and with 
them came trouble." 

The first town in this county in which dissent from Congre- 
gationalism appeared was Great Harrington. The lie v. Sam- 
uel Hopkins, a strict Calvinist, a friend of Jonathan Edwards, 
a giant in intellect, an imposing figure among the New Eng- 
land Congregational clergy, and whose personal traits are ad- 
mirably brought out in Mrs. Stowe's "The Minister's Wooing;" 
had been called to be minister of the town in September, 1743. 
While some members of the Lutheran church, who had re- 
moved to Great Barrington from Kinderhook among the early 
settlers, were not cordially in his favor owing to their being 
unacquainted perfectly with the English language, as they used 
in their homes only the native Holland Dutch tongue, yet it 
was not until after 1700 that any wide-spread disaffection oc- 
curred. Mr. Hopkins had gained the respect of the people, 
whom he represents as being very irreligious when he took up 
his residence there, lie visited the Dutch settlers regularly 
and many of them attended the public services. The refusal 
to administer Holy Baptism to the children of those who were 

188 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

not members of his church, or to allow occasional services 
in the Dutch tongue in the meeting house caused many of 
the Dutch, who hud not united with the church, to be 
seriously offended. Thfey began to absent themselves from 
Sunday meetings, stormy scenes occurred in the public town 
meetings. Mr. Hopkins' salary was not promptly paid. At 
length, one Sunday, he rebuked the tything-men, whose duty 
it was to report absentees to the magistrates for their neglect. 
Spurred by this they brought before the judges those who had 
remained away from the Sunday meetings for three months. 
The General Court, by statute, made attendance once in three 
months upon the services of the minister of the town compul- c 
sory. The penalty for non-attendance was either a fine or con- 
tinement for one day in the stocks. Isaac VanDeusen, John, 
Peter, and Garret Ihirghardt, all of them prominent citizens, 
were accused pleading guilty, the magistrates, at their request? 
allowed them time to decide what their punishment should be. 
They consulted friends in Stockbridge, the Hon. Timothy 
Woodbridge, the well-known Indian school master, Judge Ed- 
wards, and others, who advised them to choose the stocks. 
There being none in the north parish of Sheffield, as Great 
Barrington was then called, they were taken to Sheffield. A large 
number of people were present, among them Judge Wood- 
bridge and IT end rick Burghardt, a brother of three of those who 
were to be punished, with a loaded gun. He took his stand 
near the stocks and threatened to fire upon the first one who 
offered any insult to the prisoners. The day was one of triumph 
to the law breakers, and from that time measures were taken 
to form another church organization. The Dutch remained at 
home " reading," says a highly embellished account, which is 
the chief authority for this portion of the ecclesiastical history 
of the town, "their Bibles and other religious books with which 
they were abundantly supplied," attending meeting only a suf- 
ficient number of times to keep within the letter of the law. 
Mr. Hopkins was deeply offended at their course, and in the 
presence of some of the delinquents one Sunday, used such 
violent language, — "every Sunday you are not here, you are in 
hell," — that the Dutch inhabitants determined to attend no 


The Protestant /Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 189 

longer. They invited the Lutheran minister at Loonenbnrgh, 
now Atliens opposite Hudson, in the county of Albany, to visit 
them monthly, who administered Holy Baptism and preached 
to them acceptably for some months. The narrative here seems 
confused; the name of the minister, as written, is Bafkmire, 
and in the Documentary History of New York the name of the 
Rev. Wm. Christopher Berkenmeyer is given as the Lutheran 
minister in the city and county of Albany in 1710. That lie 
remained in the county for many years seems uncertain, and 
no documents appear extant to show any active existence of the 
Lutheran church in the city of Albany, excepting entries in 
the records of St. Peter's church, Albany, which would imply c 
that the Lutheran congregation worshipped on Sunday after- 
noons in the church building of that parish for several years. 
Another Lutheran minister who is mentioned as visiting Great 
Barrington is the Kev. Dr. Knoll, said to be of Kinderhook. lie 
was never minister at Kinderhook so far as any documentary 
proof can be found. The Rev. Michael Oarparus Knoll was, 
in 1748, minister at New York and in Dutchess county. The 
present writer ventures the assertion that these services by 
Dutch clergymen were made before any trouble with Mr. Hop- 
kins, and Were, probably, one cause of his violence toward the 
Dutch settlers, who did not wish to pa) 7 both their proportion 
of taxes for Lutheran services and for the Congregational min- 
ister. This conjecture is strengthened by the fact that the first 
services of the church of England are said by the same author- 
ity to have been held about 1700. There were a few members 
of the Church of England resident in the town who had 
hitherto paid their taxes for Mr. Hopkins and attended the 
Congregational meeting. They were among the prominent 
men, highly esteemed by all. They sympathized with the 
Dutch in the hardships that they suffered, and advised the 
forming of a mission of the Church of England. The Dutch 
agreeing with them, they sent to New Milford, Conn., sixty 
miles away to invite the Rev. Solomon Palmer, itinerant mis- 
sionary in Litchfield county, to visit Great Harrington. Mr. 
Palmer, in a letter written to the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel from Litchfield, Conn., June 8, 1703, a short 

190 Berkshire Historical and Scientific 

time previous to his removal to New Haven, gives an account 
of Lis visits. The exact dates cannot be determined from the 
letter, but we know they were between 1700 and September, 
1TG2. "Twice I went to Great Barrington, a county town in 
the Boston government, 35 miles to the northward, where I 
spent some time and preached on Sundays, and lectured to 
crowded auditories and administered the two sacraments of 
Baptism and the Lord's Supper. I took a great deal of pains 
with that people to instruct them in the principles, doctrines 
and government of the Church of England, and witli good suc- 
cess, for at both visits most of them heads of families, declared 
for conformity who I have great reason to think will he stead- 
fast in their profession and adorn the same by a suitable con- 
duct, and where there is the fairest prospect of a still plentiful 
increase, and on my return the last time I preached (as desired 
by many) at Sheffield, a town in the same government, to a 
large congregation of devout people, and baptized a woman of 
good understanding and sober life, and twelve children." 

The Rev. Thomas Davies, at first assistant and afterward a 
successor of Mr. Palmer in his widely-extended mission, who 
was appointed in the summer of 1701, made several visits to 
Great Barrington as we learn from his letters to the society. In 
one written from New Milford, Conn., Dec. 28, 1702, he says, 
" By the advice of the Rev. Mr. Caller of Boston, a few fam- 
ilies in Barrington, the westernmost settlement of that colony, 
sent their earnest desire that I would come and visit them. 
Accordingly, in September last, I went (it is sixty miles) and 
preached to a large concourse of people, and baptised some 
children, and instructed them in the meaning, use and propriety 
of the Common Prayer Book. They informed me that many 
had long been dissatisfied with their dissenting instructions, be- 
ing constantly taught rigid Calvinism, and that sin was of in- 
finite advantage and advanced happiness greatly in the world; 
that if the church was introduced there they must pay tithes; 
that the church was just like the papists; that the Service book 
was taken from the mass book, etc. 1 chose a clerk, a very 
regular and pious man to read prayers with them, as they could 
not in conscience go to meeting. One of the most steady 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 11)1 

among them was imprisoned last summer for non-attendance, 
and they all would be if they did not meet among themselves. 
There are near forty families conformists in this town; people 
of worth and good fame/' It was at this time that these fam- 
ilies put themselves under the pastoral charge of Mr. Davies. 
The clerk chosen was John Westover of Egremont; the 
wardens elected were Jonathan Reed of Great Barringtou, and 
Robert Noble of Sheffield, the founder of Nobletowu, (now 
Hillsdale,) N. Y. The incorporators were Robert Noble, Jon- 
athan Reed, David Ingersoll, Samuel Breck, Stephen King, 
John Westover, Jacob Burgott (Burghardt), Warham Wil- 
liams, John Williams, John Williams, Jr., Ebenezer Hamlin, 
David Clark, Josh Robie, Jona Hill, Daniel Bagley, Josiah 
Loomis and Josiah Loomis, Jr. The original certificate is now 
on iile in the County clerk's olKce at Pittsfield. A copy 
furnished by the lion. Henry W. Taft, county clerk, is printed 
iu the History of Great Harrington. Isaac Van Deusen, John 
Burghardt and others of the Dutch conformed to the church 
and became earnest and active members of the new parish. In 
L763 materials for the erection of a church were brought to- 
gether. Several visits were made during this year by the Rev. 
Roger Viets of Simsbury, Conn., who baptized three children 
and solemnized one marriage. In 1764 he made two visits 
when he baptized six children, and in January, 1706, he made 
his last recorded visit. The acts are registered by him in the 
register of the parish at Simsbury, Conn. There were also sev- 
eral visits from the Rev. Dr. Mansfield of Derby, as we arc in- 
formed by Dr. Burhans in a letter in a privately printed me- 
moir of Mrs. Sarah Ann Boardman of New Milford. The 
attitude of Mr. Hopkins during the preliminary steps for firmly 
establishing the new mission station was very hostile. In his 
autobiography mentioning the growing discontent and trials he 
was undergoing, he says, " And a number turned churchmen, 
apparently, and some of them professedly, to get rid of paying 
anything for the support of the gospel." On Christmas day, 
1761:, a frame church 40x50 feet, with a chancel and porch 
making the total length seventy feet, was opened by the Rev. 
Thomas Davies, who preached a sermon from St. Matthew 

192 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

xxi : 13, which was printed at the Providence press. The 
church was a very handsome one and modeled after Christ 
church, Stratford, Conn. It is the tradition that a friend in 
England furnished the glass which was so freely used that the 
huilding was often called the glass house. A steeple one hun- 
dred and ten feet high was surmounted by a gilded weather-cock, 
and the belfry furnished with a bell, the first in the town. The 
building committee were Messrs. John Williams, Samuel Lee 
and John Burghardt. The building was not entirely finished 
until 1774, and the money for its erection was gathered by 
friends in various parts of the county. A contribution was 
solicited from Sir William Johnson in January, 1707, as we 
learn from a letter of the llev. Thomas Brown of Albany, who 
speaks of the great hardships the churchmen suffered from the 
Presbyterian party. Sometime previous to the opening of the 
church, probably early in 1704, or late in 1703, Mr. Gideon 
Bostwick became a resident of Great Barrington and master of 
the high school established by some gentlemen of the town. 
lie was a native of New Milford, Conn., and had graduated 
from Yale College in the class of 1702. lie served as lay- 
reader in the parish when no clergyman could be procured, un- 
til he sailed for England in 1709, to receive holy orders. 

The next town in which the services of the Church of Eng- 
land were established was Lanesborough. Among the early 
settlers of this town was a company of churchmen from New- 
town and Stratford, Conn. They were all men of real earnest- 
ness who resolved in their new home to maintain the services 
they loved. Sunday after Sunday they met in the house of 
William Bradley, who served as lay-reader. They were first 
visited by a clergyman in October, 1707, when the Rev. Sam- 
uel Andrews of Wallingford, Conn., in a journey to the north- 
ward (this was the ordinary phrase to describe the new settle- 
ments in the New Hampshire grants) on October 2, 1707, pre- 
sided at a meeting for organization when William Bradley and 
Joel Sherman were chosen wardens, and Abraham Bristol, 
clerk. A school house at the northeast corner of Mr. Bradley's 
farm was afterward used as a place of worship, and previous to 
October, 1769, a small church had been built as we learn from 

The Protestant Episcopal Church m Berkshire. 193 

the petition of the Great Barringtop district to the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel. These were the only two 
places in the county where we are certain the services of the 
Church of England were maintained until the ordination of 
Mr. Bostwick in the spirng of 1770. Great Harrington was 
formally under the charge of the Bev. Mr. Palmer, who had 
returned from New Haven to his old mission in Litchfield 
county soon after the death of the Rev. Mr. Davies, May 1^, 
1766, There were "thirty-four families of the church in Great 
Barringrton at that time" besides thirteen families in the ad- 
jacent parishes "who attend publick worship here," to quote 
their petition. Mr. Palmer resided thirty-four miles away, the 
road often impassible in the winter, and the other portions of 
his mission requiring so much time that it was but seldom he 
could officiate at Great Barrington. There was no clerical pro- 
vision at all for Lanesborough where there were nineteen fam- 
ilies of the church. They say in this petition "Though we are 
but few in number at present, yet we cannot but think that 
could we be favored with a minister some part of the time, the 
church would in a little time increase to a considerable nuin- 
her." It is probable, however, that Mr. Bostwick, while still a 
lay-reader, went there. The great distance of these Berkshire 
churchmen from a clergyman, their great desire that the ser- 
vices be properly maintained, that their children be baptized, 
that the 'holy communion be frequently administered, that the 
surrounding towns be also cared for, led them in October, 1769, 
to join with two small towns in the New York side of the Ta- 
conics, Nobletown (now in Hillsdale, Columbia county, N. Y.) 
where a small church had been built,. and New Concord, on 
the hill four miles above Chatham, N. Y., in asking for a mis- 
sion of the Propagation Society and requesting that Mr. Bost- 
wick be ordained and appointed to it. Among the signers of 
the petition are Peter Curtis, who was a well-known patriot 
during the Revolution, Abraham Bristoll, Joel Sherman, John 
Powel, Nathaniel Bacon, AVilliam Bradley and Benjamin For- 
ham (a mistake for Farnham), of Lanesborough, and Thomas 
Pier, Samuel Lee and John Burgliardt of Great Barrim>ton. 
Bearing this petition and a commendatory letter from the clergy 

194 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

of New York, the Rev. Drs. Auchmuty, Cooper, Ogilvie and 
the Rev. Mr. Inglis, Mr. Bostwiek sailed for England in Dee.., 
17ft9, and arrived in London Jan. 23, 1770. lie lost no time 
in urging the importance of at onee erecting the mission and 
presenting himself to the Bishop of London for ordination. 
The Society were very averse, owing to the political disturb- 
ances of the time and the smalincss of their income to extend 
their bounty to new fields, yet the stand taken for religious 
liberty by the ehurehmen of Great Barrington, and the poverty 
of those settled in a wilderness country in New York, made 
such a favorable impression that the petition was at onee 
granted, and with no longer delay than was required by the 
canons of the Church of England, Mr. Bostwiek was made 
deacon at a special ordination in St. James' chapel, St. Mat- 
thias's day, Feb. 24, 1770, and on March 11th, in the same 
chapel, ordained priest by the Right Rev. Richard Terrick, 
Bishop of London. Leaving England in April he readied 
New York May 29, 1770, and Great Barrington June 4th. 
The culmination of the troubles at Great Barrington with Mr. 
Hopkins was his dismission by an ecclesiastical council January 
\^, L709, so that when Mr. Bostwiek commenced his ministry 
there were no other religious services of any kind in the town. 
Several attempts were made by the town to settle a good 
learned and orthodox minister, but they were ineffectual until 
1787, and the minister then settled, the Rev. Isaac Foster, re- 
mained only three years, it was not until sixteen years after 
(hat a prominent Congregational minister was chosen by the 
Congregational society which had been incorporated by the 
General Court in 1791. 

Mr. Bostwiek gained the love and affection not only of his 
own parishioners, but of the whole town, lie gave twenty 
Sundays in each year to Great Barrington and twelve to Lanes- 
borough and Nobletown, and eight to New Concord, lie en- 
tered heartily upon his work; he found that there were scat- 
tered through the county, in the new towns on the New York- 
slope of the IJerkshire hills many families of the Church of 
England. In his letters to the Society he speaks of his constant 
travelling and of the many he was able to instruct in the doc- 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 195 

trines of the church. His zeal led him into every nook and 
corner of the county; lie would gather the people for a service 
and then baptize the children brought to him. During 1771, 
through these visits, the worship of the church was set up, to 
use his own phrase, "at Lenox and Sand isfiekl, where they 
have morning and evening prayers and services read every 
Lord's day, and to whom I frequently preach lectures on week- 
days, as I do also at several oilier places out of my mission, 
sometimes three and sometimes four in the space of a week in 
places no less than 30 or 40 miles asunder. All this through 
the pressing importunities of the people I am obliged to per- 
form (and that Ivy means of their poverty in a new settled 
country) without any reward other than the satisfaction that 
arises from the hopes of rendering myself useful to my fellow 
mortals or else suffer them and their families to live in a total 
neglect of the ordinances of the gospel, which I cannot find it 
in my conscience to do." Mr. Uostwick's private register, 
which is among the archives of St. James church, Great Har- 
rington, shows him ever active and energetic, ready to d<» his 
Master's work, whether it called him to Manchester and Ar- 
lington, Vt., eighty miles from his home through a partially 
settled country, or to Litchfield county, Connecticut, his old 
home sixty miles to the south, and the towns lying between. 
In Berkshire county, besides those places where services were 
regularly held, Stockbridge, West Stockbridge, Tyringham, 
Egremont, Partridgefield, (now Peru), New Ash lord, Hart- 
wood, (now Washington), Alford, Adams, Taconick Mountain, 
(now Mount Washington), New Marlborough, Pittsfield, Beth- 
lehem, (now part of Otis), Williamstown and Lee were visited 
and many children were baptized. The missionary ardor of 
Mr. Bostwick, the record of the great work he accomplished in 
the spreading a knowledge of the Church of England, deserves 
a fuller treatment than is possible in this paper. Lack of time 
prevents a detailed account of his noble life whose influence is 
still felt in many of the places that received his ministrations. 
During the twenty-three years of his pastorate he baptized 
2,274 children, 81 adults, married 127 couples, and buried 84 
persons. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont 

190 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

would honor the memory of tin's faithful priest, who, in his 
mountain parish remote from the great centers of population, 
was able to bring many souls into the kingdom and to lay 
foundations built upon often after many days. The Rev. 
Gideon Bostwick entered into the rest of God's saints at JS T ew 
Milford, Conn., June "13, 1793, in the fifty-first year of his age. 
His body was buried in the lower eemetery at Great Barring- 
ton, and a monument of American marble was erected the year 
after his death by a company of friends. The Rev. Daniel 
Burlians took up the mantel of Mr. Bostwick, and in Berkshire 
county, Mass., and Columbia county, New York, was able to 
accomplish much that still remains permanent. With the aid 
of Ins autobiography many graphic descriptions of pastoral 
work in the last century can be given, liis life was extended 
beyond four-score and ten, he was the last survivor of the clergy 
ordained by the first diocesan bishop in this country, the Right 
Rev. Dr. Seabury of Connecticut. He kept for years a diary, 
and in the last year of his life amused himself by writing, as a 
preparation for his funeral sermon, an autobiography. 

Daniel, the son of Henry Burlians, an officer in the French 
and Indian war, was born at Sherman, Conn., July 7, 17G3. 
liis father could not afford to give him the classical education 
that he desired, for the thoughts of Daniel had always been 
turned to the ministry of the Congregational church. lie was 
industrious and studious and attended in the intervals of his 
daily labor the district school three or four months at a time, 
lie applied himself so zealously that his teacher became greatly 
interested in him and offered to support him in his college 
course if he could be prepared for admission. Daniel, then 
seventeen years old, by hard work on a farm in the summer, 
and by teaching school in the winter, giving his evenings to 
hard study, was ready for college in two years. In the fall of 
1772 he set out on a visit to his patron that he might be ex- 
amined. The distance was twenty miles. To his inexpressi- 
hle grief he found the one on whom the hopes of a liberal edu- 
cation depended upon his death-bed. With a heavy heart he 
journeyed towards home; his money failed and he knew not 
what to do. About this time he came to Lanesborough where 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 197 

lie worked for his board with the privilege of attending school. 
The teacher not being found as competent as had been ex- 
pected, lie was discharged and Mr. Burhans urged to take his 
place, which he did. From this time his worldly prospects 
brightened. During the winter of 1782-3, there was a revival 
at the Congregational church in Lanesborough of which he 
was a member. The five points of Calvinism being specially 
urged upon his attention he began to examine them with greater 
care and thought than ever before. He found that his theo- 
logical opinions did not coincide with them and his mind was 
in a state of great doubt and despondency. lie began even to 
doubt the holy scriptures and to despair of his own salvation. 
While in this condition a friend placed in his hands the articles 
of the Church of England. He read them attentively without 
knowing what body of Christians had prepared them, and found 
that he agreed with the views of Divine Providence, regenera- 
tion, election and the means of grace there set forth. Upon 
the next visit of Mr. Bostwick, Mr. Burhans sought him, pro- 
pounded his difficulties, and his great satisfaction with the ar- 
ticles of the Church. Mr. Bostwick advised him, gave him 
books to read and finally admitted him to the Holy Commun- 
ion in St. Luke's church, Lanesborough, on Whit Sunday, 1783. 
Mr. Burhans' school was prosperous, his mind was calm, his 
religious aspirations satisfied, his health, which had been deli- 
cate, was greatly improved. He does not seem to have re- 
mained continuously in Lanesborough as he mentions living 
with a friend and teaching his children for his board and lodg- 
ing, and afterward teaching a district school for five months. 

In the year 1787, Mr. Burhans took up his residence perma- 
nently at Lanesborough, as we learn from this characteristic 

An occasional omission of a word by the writer is supplied 
in a parenthesis. 

"My health having much improved and having arrived at 
my twenty-fourth year, and having no prospect of accomplish- 
ing my early desires, and much increased since I became a 
churchman of being qualified for a minister of the gospel, I 
finally concluded to abandon the idea and seek contentment 

198 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and support by teaching school of which I had been for some- 
time past remarkably successful in Lenox, the county town, 
where they were anxious I should [remain.] No sooner than 
my friends in Lanesboro' know [my] determination, and the 
desires of the good people of Lenox, than they determined, and 
in a few months erected a handsome brick building which I 
opened as an independent school. In a few months the num- 
ber of scholars exceeded 100, and in less than a year amounted 
to 150, as many as could be accommodated, which remained 
undimished for six years. 

But before one year expired, finding it difficult to find board 
for my pupils from abroad, I concluded to settle in life and to 
take scholars from a distance, to accomplish which, I must have 
a house and some one to take the charge of it. In the female 
department of young ladies, there was one, [who] in ainiable- 
ness of temper, urbanity in behavior and scholarship excelled, 
but she being only fifteen years of age, a farmer's eldest 
daughter, and the pride of the family, appeared an insurmount- 
able objection to my prevailing wishes, and I dare not .indulge 
for a moment the burning thought. But as I had the reputa- 
tion of a pious and promising young man, recently come into 
the church, and read sermon[s] and occasionally the service, in 
the absence of the clergyman; and that her father, one of the 
wardens, and the most able d[ef]ender of the church and her 
authority and discipline as a layman that I have ever known, 
besides a warm friend of mine, a gleam of hope would some- 
times dazzle in the mind's eye. And I considered that the 
hearts of the children of men were, in the hands of the Lord. 
I had in the course of a few weeks a faith of submission to re- 
pair to the throne of grace, (to me on this interesting subject.) 
I now attempted to gain her affections, not by flattery or a 
single word or gesture that would breathe anything beyond 
friendship. In this I succeeded and obtained hers, and know- 
ing full well that where this is reciprocal between man and 
man or male and female, there will exist no difficulty of carry- 
ing into effect any lawful design in religion, politics or matri- 
mony, and for the want of establishing this first principle is 
owing most of the failures on all subjects. In the autumn she 

The Protestant Ejriscopal Church in Berkshire. 199 

left school and returned to her father's, Obed Edson, about 
three miles distant. My next effort was to obtain the deeided 
■ friendship of the family, and after a few visits I was satisfied 
and reeeived her pledge and the approbation of her parents and 
family. The prosperity of my sehool in our new [building,] 
and the preparation for building myself a house in [the] ensu- 
ing season witli the pleasing antieipations of the future both 
fur time and eternity, led to a proper improvement of time in 
the faithful diseharge of my duty, with a conscience void of 
offence. Tims the winter passed cheerfully away, improving 
my leisure hours in reading and other devotion[al] exercises, a 
record of which, with prayer and hymns connected with a sol- 
emn self-dedication to Almighty "God, signed in my own blood, 
recorded in the fore part of my llertarium. However, the in- 
strument alluded to, called a covenant may appear to the fas- 
tidious I know not. One thing I know, that I was conscious 
[of J, and that is [it] had a salutary effect upon my whole life. 
He who doubts, go and do likewise. Oct. 12, 1788, 1 was mar- 
ried to Prudence Edson in St. Luke's church, by the Rev. 
Gideon Eostwick. Although my wife was young, having en- 
tered her seventeenth year, having by nature an affectionate 
heart and vigorous mind, a discriminating understanding, and 
influenced and regulated by a lively faith in her Redeemer, 
rendered her not only amiable but endeared to all her acquaint- 
ance and exemplified in us the literal truth 'these twain are one 
flesh.' In clue time we removed into our new house, and be- 
fore retiring to rest, we erected a family altar [and] dedicated 
our house with ourselves and all things appertaining to us to 
Almighty God, by reading the holy scriptures and prayer, and 
renewing our matrimonial vows and pledging to daily kneel 
before our Heavenly Father imploring his direction in all our 
ways, and further us with his continual help, that in all our 
works begun in [His] name might end in His glory and the 
salvation of our souls. * , * * We took in a few boarders, 
and my wife was principal teacher of the female department." 
Mr. Burlians was a successful teacher and the school gave 
him an income of two hundred dollars a year besides a com- 
fortable support. Mrs. Burhans was an indefatigable help- 

200 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

meet in spite of the asthma with which she had been afflicted 
from her childhood. His was probably the first school higher 
than an ordinary district school that was ever opened in Lanes- 
borough. "Thus," lie says, "live years passed away with but 
few intervening clouds to keep ns mindful 'this is not our con- 
tinuing city.'" 

There was a higher duty than school teaching for Mr. Bur- 
hans, his early desires that he might be a preacher of righteous- 
ness, that he might guide souls to the blessed Itedeemer, were 
to be fulfilled. His own words will tell better than any para- 
phrase his reasons for taking holy orders and his preparation. 

"About the year 1791, (having as remarked above read in 
church for three or four years^p I found that it was suggested 
by some that I had better close my school and take holy orders. 
Although for several years [I had] abandoned the idea of a 
subject that had cheered many a dark hour in my boyhood, the 
seed was [not] dead, but gave evidence of germinating. I 
checked the rising thought. My natural and acquired talent 
forbids. In the course of a few weeks in conversation with 
Mr. Bostwick, he says: '1 have been thinking for some time 
of introducing another clergyman into the county, or proposing 
that you should take deacon's orders and retire an old man 
from traveling twenty-live miles to baptize a sick child, or to 
perform any office belonging to that degree in the ministry.' 
In reply 1 acknowledged the thought was more gratifying than 
otherwise, but for the want of required qualifications, I had re- 
linquished the subject. Besides I have a large and profitable 
school, the avails of which my rising family requires. 'Oh,' 
replies Mr. Bostwick, 'I had no thought of your giving up 
your school, or immediately taking charge of [the] parish, but 
perform those duties that but seldom occur, and occasionally 
perform service in some of the neighboring towns. I can ob- 
tain a dispensation as it respects your literary qualifications.' 
If this flatters again the budding germ, it proposed an unan- 
swerable question on my part, 'Who is sufficient for these 
things?" Inspiration answered 'My grace.' But to tell the 
truth, if Mr. Bostwick urged [it] I was gratified, and by saying 
to myself, [If] I should be an instrument in saving one soul to 

The Protectant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 201 

God, [will I] give all the glory. As theology had engrossed 
my reading for a number of years I commenced, under the 
guidanee of the venerable Mr. Bostwick, who for several years 
had been niy spiritual father, to read syst[em]atically, and he 
recommended Pearson on the Creed, Lester on Socinianism, 
ete., Hooker [the Ecclesiastical Polity,] Archbishop Potter on 
Church Government, Bishop Newton's Dissertations on the 
Prophecies, Stackhouse's Body of Divinity, Eusebius, ete. I 
improved every moment after elosing my school. As I kept 
no boy, I cut my own wood and to[ok] care of cow, sheep, pig 
and poultry. At early light I commenced my studies, and con- 
tinued with my midnight lamp, allowing myself but four hours 
sleep. 1 was early in active duty. My school still prosperous, 
had two public exhibitions in the year." Thus far the auto- 
biography. Meanwhile events were taking place that deserve 

The contest for freedom of opinion in religion in Pittslield 
began in opposition to the rate levied for the building of a new 
meeting house, authorized in November, 1780. The right to 
tax all property for the building of a meeting house, and the 
support of a public teacher of morality and religion was given 
the laws of the Commonwealth at that time to the majority of 
voters in a town meeting. Any dissent from that decision had 
to be discussed in a town meeting and there determined. The 
churchmen in Pittsfield at this time were probably not many, 
but among them weie six tax payers, four of them being prom- 
inent and wealthy men. Col. Henry Van Schaack, formerly a 
member of the Dutch Reformed Communion and a churchman 
by study and conviction who was highly esteemed in the town, 
was the champion of all the dissenters from Congregationalism 
after the levying of the first tax for the new meeting house, a 
protest was presented to the town meeting in August, 1790, 
signed by the Baptists, Shakers, churchmen and others who 
were property holders, and claiming that such a tax was con- 
trary to the constitution of the Commonwealth. No notice 
was taken of it. Mr. Van Schaack commenced a suit against 
the assessors, and protested to the selectmen in December, 
1761, and March, 1792, against the assignment of a seat to him 

202 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

in the new meeting house, 'rays that he "supports his own mode 
of worship in a neighboring town, Lenox, and considers that 
to compel him to maintain that of another denomination hears 
an aspect to unfriendly to the sacred rights of conscience se- 
cured him by the constitution, and therefore is an imposition 
not to he submitted to." In March, 1792, Mr. Van Schaack's 
vigorous protests began to be heeded, and a committee to ascer- 
tain the dissenters in November, 1789, was appointed by the 
town. They reported in April, and we find in the list these 
six churchmen, although Stephen Jewett was declared a suffic- 
iently good Congregationalist to be taxed. Jonathan Hubby, 
James Heard, Henry Van Schaack, Esq., Eleazer Russell, TituS 
Grant, Stephen Jewett. At this same meeting the collection 
of the taxes of dissenters was suspended for three weeks that 
they might deposit with the treasurer a written request to order 
the collector to pay the sums assessed to them for the support 
of their chosen religious teacher. This was not entirely satis- 
factory, although the fairest disposition that could be made as 
regards taxation, for it did not touch one chief ground of com- 
plaint the appropriation of the common land of the town for 
the benefit of only a part of the inhabitants. Mr. Van Schaack 
continued his suit, and received letters commending his course 
from Bishop Seabury of Connecticut, Dr. Parker of Trinity 
church, Boston, afterward Bishop of Massachusetts, Rev. Dr. 
Stilhnan of Boston, a well known Baptist minister, Gov. Wil- 
liam Eustis and others. lie was nonsuited in the Common 
Rleas, laughed out of court, but acting upon the advice of Dr. 
Parker, that "in spite of the horse laugh of Judge Paine," the 
court of final resort would decide in his favour; he appealed 
to the Supreme Court. In October, 1792, the Supreme Court 
sustained Mr. Van Schaack's appeal and the battle for religious 
freedom in Berkshire was won. Mr. Van Schaack speaks, in 
one of his protests of attending the church services at Lenox. 
Mr. Bostwick's letters and his register show that services had 
been held regularly since 1771. In 1771:, Mr. Bostwick records 
a vestry meeting there. 

"Lenox, May 2d, at a vestry meeting chose David Perrey, 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 203 

clerk; John Wliitlock, Eliphalet Fowler, church wardens; 
Royce Hall, John Wliitlock, Jr., choristers." 

The records of Trinity church, Lenox, commence with an 
undated agreement "To support in future in the town of Lenox 
or the adjacent towns, the public worship of Almighty (rod 
according to the rules and regulations of the American Protest* 
ant Episcopal church, as established by the convention of the 
said church, regularly appointed and held at Salem, in the 
county of Essex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on the 
fifth day and sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand, seven hundred and ninety," after agreeing to sub- 
scribe for the support of public worship, and arranging the de- 
tails of the association, it closes with this paragraph: 

"And we cordially invite all others of our fellow citizens in 
the vicinity who are of the same persuasion, or whose scruples 
of conscience do not prevent them to unite in the same laudable 

Jared Bradley, 
Clark Baldwin, 


Jesse Bradley, 
Timothy Arnold, 
Thadeus Thompson, 
Samuel Dunhar, 
Joseph Holland, 
John Ereese, 
Aaron Benedict. 
It is probable that these articles of association were made 
soon after the convention of Massachusetts mentioned there. 
The book in which it is recorded is endorsed on the front cover, 
"April 1st, 1792." The formal proceedings of the vestry com- 
mence on the twenty-second page of the book in another hand, 
and the obvious inference is that these pages were left blank 
to record the vestry minutes from the formation of the associa- 
tion to Dec. 20, 1793, the date of the entry on the twenty-sec- 
ond page. While the churchmen in the county were thus as- 
serting their right to maintain the doctrines of Christ as the 
Protestant Episcopal church has received them, Mr. Burhans 

204 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

was busily preparing himself for ordination. .Besides his lay- 
reading in Lanesborough, he officiated during 171)2 at New 
Lebanon Springs, then a place of great resort, where there were 
a few families belonging to the Church. The services were 
very largely attended, and an effort being made to build an 
Episcopal church at the Springs, the members of the Congre- 
gational church, then vacant, became alarmed and asked Air. 
Bnrhans to officiate in their meeting house on Sunday after- 
noons, which he did several times. The result was that the 
Congregational society formally called him to be their minister, 
"on condition," says the doctor, "that I should pray without 
book one-half of the day." The doctor details his interview 
with the congregation and gives his reasons for refusing to con- 
sider it, laughingly suggesting that he might accept provided 
they shut their eyes when he used the book. Mr. Burhans' 
story of his ordination is very vivid. 

"In the spring of 1793, closing my theological studies which 
had been only a year, with all the embarassments and secular 
concerns that I have detailed, would not be esteemed by the 
candidates of this age who require three years in a regular 
Theological Seminary (and none too much), of much conse- 
quence. I mentioned it only to show what may be done in a 
short time [by] zeal and perse verance. On the first of June, 1 
accompanied the Rev. Mr. Bostwick to Middletown, Conn., to 
attend the annual convention of that diocese, who introduced 
me as a candidate for holy orders. The next morning I was 
examined in the presence of the Bishop by the late venerable 
Richard Mansfield, D. I). * Eev. Dr. Hubbard and Rev. Mr. 
Fogg. They were courteous and familiar. I was soon at ease 
and unembarassed, supporting myself [in] confidence, with be- 
coming humility. The most puzzling and difficult question 
was put by Dr. Mansfield, 'Aside from the fulfillment of pro- 
phecy and miracles, on what ground would you defend Divine 
Revelation?' By its internal effects upon the external con- 
duct. Contrast the civilization and morality of nations who 
receive and make the Bible the [guide?] of their council with 

♦The Rev. Dr. Mansfield was missionary and Rector of Christ's church, Derby, Conn., 
seventy-ono years, and died aged ninety-seven. 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 205 

'the nations destitute of the Holy Scriptures^ and you have ocu- 
lar demonstration of the prosperity of the one and the depres- 
sion of the other. These, with a few of the conclusive argu- 
ments of Soame Jennings in his Unanswerable defence of 
Christianity form its internal evidence. This was perfectly 
satisfactory, and testimonials were cheerfully signed with many 
flattering remarks. In time and due form a procession of 
Bishop, clergy and laity proceeded to the church, where I was 
soon robed and presented to the Bishop with his son Charles, 
and received t\m order of Deacon, June 5th, 1793, in the thir- 
tieth year of my age."* It was soon after his return to Lanes- 
borough that he received the sad news of the death of Mr. 
Bostwick, leaving the county without any clergyman but him- 
self. He immediately became the minister of St. Luke's, 
Lanesboroui'h, and continued his services at New Lebanon, 
twelve miles distant, throughout the summer and fall. "Being 
often called away to visit the sick, baptize and attend funerals 
in the neighboring towns, yet I continued my school, and hav- 
ing but few manuscript sermons, I taxed my mid-night lamp 
sufficient to write one every week, preaching every Sunday al- 
ternately in Lanesborough and New Lebanon. * * * On 
the first of November, finding my health much impaired, my 
physician assured [me] I must abridge my labors. I finally, 
with dee]) regret, closed my school much against the ardent 
wishes and desires of pupils and patrons; these friendships con- 
tinued with their lives and [remain] unchanged in the few 
that are living. As it was my uniform practice to open and 
close school with prayer, and on Saturdays, after morning reci- 
tations, the remainder of the forenoon in catechising with 
moral and religious instructions, giving to each scholar of every 
age a Sunday lesson to be recited Monday morning, and that 
without fail at noon they were dismissed by reciting the creed 
with a blessing. Let it not be deemed vain glorious [that] 
many have in subsequent life dated their conversion to early 
impressions made in the school-room. How true, 'As the twig 

*It was at this service that the ambitious music of the choir nuister, who performed 
the second stanza df the 133d Psalm in such a manner as to excite Bishop Seabury's 

sympathy for poor Aaron. See Spra^ue's Annal, 8 Vol, p. 15G. 

200 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

is bent the tree is inclined.' At this period I ceased to preach 
at New Lebanon, and organized a parish at Lenox, the county 
town, of ten families, and officiated one-half of my time. My 
labors were blessed by [the] God of all grace, and daily addi- 
tions were made to the church, of such as I trust will be 

The following is the entry in the records of Trinity churuch, 
being the first in the book after the articles of agreement: 

"Lenox, Dec. 2G, 1893. 

The Protestant Episcopal church Association of Lenox, 
agreed this day with Mr. Daniel Burhans of Lanesborough, a 
regularly ordained Episcopal deacon, to ofliciate in his public 
character as their teacher for the year ensuing, viz: to the 20th 
December, 179-A, every other Sunday for the sum of £40. The 
following votes were then passed: 

1st. To choose a committee to receive subscriptions to de- 
fray the salary of Mr. Burhans for the year ensuing, said com- 
mittee to be out of members of the association from the differ- 
ent towns which compose the same, Lenox, Lee, Richmond. 

2d. To choose a treasurer. Azariah Eggleston, Esq. was 
unanimously chosen. 

The meeting dissolved." 

The blanks left for the names of the committeemen were 
not tilled. The amount of salary was in United States money, 
reckoning six shillings to the dollar, and $3.33 1-3 to the pound, 
$133.33 1-3. In the following spring May 19, 1794, Mr. Bur- 
hans was recommended by the parishes at Lanesborough and 
Lenox to Bishop Seabury of Connecticut, to be ordained to the 
priesthood. A letter from St. Luke's, Lanesborough, asking 
the members of the Lenox parish to subscribe one-half of the 
expenses of Mr. Burhans in his journey to New Haven, is 
spread upon the minutes and a resolution, to raise the amount 
by subscription, passed. At the same meeting, which is an- 
nounced as held, for the purpose of organizing and regulating 
the society. Proceeded to the choice of church officers for the 
ensuing year, and made choice of the following, viz: 

Samuel Quincy, clerk; Messrs. John Whitlock, Jesse Brad- 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 207 

lee, wardens; Messrs. Amasa Glizea, Truman Dewey, Isaac 
C. Goodrich, choristers. 

The next meeting, April 13, 1795, appoints as a committee 
for collecting priest's salary, Messrs. Azariah Eggleston, Ben- 
jamin Conkling, for Lenox; Jared Bradlee, who was also read- 
ing clerk, for Lee, and Philip Cook for Richmond. That the 
boys of the last century were not models of propriety to be 
held up for the admiration of their degenerate descendants, we 
may judge from this formal action. 

" As of late rude boys and others have much disturbed the 
congregation in time of public worship. Voted, to choose a 
suitable person to preserve order and decency in the hours of 
public devotion. Mr. Daniel Williams chosen." 

Mr. Burhans was a faithful pastor, and in taking charge of 
the whole county found many in remote towns brought into 
the Church by Mr. Bostwich, whom it was impossible to visit 
frequently. So it was his practice to reserve "four Sundays 
in the year to the churchmen in the neighboring towns. My 
method was to give notice where I would officiate on Sunday, 
and the week previous and subsequent I spent itinerating from 
place to place, preaching every day and frequently twice, dis- 
tributing tracts and phamphlets in defence of the faith once 
delivered to the saints. In this manner the way was prepared 
for organizing and establishing Episcopal churches, and behold 
the blessing of God attending our feeble efforts. Whereas, at 
the death of Mr. Bostwick, there were but two small parishes, 
Great Barrington and Lanesborough, there have been for years 
seven, viz: Pittsfield, Lenox, Stockbridge, Van Deusenville 
and Otis, most of these have handsome churches with an organ 
and rector, and are prosperous and extending the cause of the 

The parish at Great Barrington does not seem to have called 
upon Mr. Burhans for any services. It was supplied for a por- 
tion of the time from June, 1793, by various clergymen, among 
them David B. Lynscn and Caleb Child. In 1799, the Rev. 
Ezra Bradlee was rector, and was succeeded in 1805 by the 
Rev. Samuel Griswold. The relation of Berkshire county to 
the diocese of Massachusetts, which was organized Sept. 8, 


208 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

1784, does not appear to have been very intimate until toward 
the close of the eighteenth century. Mr. William Bradley at- 
tended as a lay delegate from St. Luke's, Lanesborough, in 
1796, but was not allowed a vote as the parish had not acceded 
to the constitution. The Kev. Daniel Burhans also attended, 
the first clerical representative from this county. There was 
no Bishop in Massachusetts until 1796, when the Kev. Edward 
Bars, D. D. of St. Paul's, Newburyport, was consecrated in 
Christ's church, Philadelphia, May 7th by Bishops White, Pro- 
voost and Olaggett. He was an old man, then seventy-six, and 
never visited Berkshire so far as any records now extant show. 
It was a matter partly of convenience and partly of necessity 
that Mr. Bostwick and Mr. Burhans were reckoned among the 
Connecticut clergy, as access to that state was much easier than 
journeying to Boston. Trinity church, Lenox, was represented 
from 1797 in the convention of Massachusetts, the delegate for 
several years being Mr. Azariah Escgleston, treasurer of the 
parish. Lee, Sandisiield, Richmond, Pittslield and other towns 
had occasional services only, but they all united in the support 
of a clergyman as we learn from the records of Trinity church, 
Lenox, special votes being passed in the years from 1795 to 
1815 to allow the then clergyman to visit them. There was no 
sitting down to enjoy alone the gospel feast on the part of these 
early churchmen, others must share it. In the spring of 1799, 
Mr. Burhans feeling alarmed at the state of his wife's health 
made a journey to Long Island, and finding the sea air bene- 
ficial to her, was induced to favorably listen to the proposals of 
the vestry of Trinity church, Newtown, Conn., to become their 
rector. The Kev. Philo Perry, an earnest, faithful parish 
priest, successor of the Kev. John Beach, founder of Trinity 
church, Newtown, had recently died, (in 179S) and the ability 
and energy of Mr. Burhans so pleased the members of the ves- 
try and the parish that they desired an almost immediate an- 
swer. The rest of the story Mr. Burhans thus tells in his 
picturesque manner. 

"On Sunday the church (at Lanesborough) was crowded in 
the consequence of gossiping and the spreading many idle and 
contradictory reports to which I made no allusion [in the ser- 

The Protestant Episcopal Church in Berkshire. 209 

vices] of the day. At the close I warned a parish meeting on 
the next day at two o'clock i\ m. Every male member who 
was able, with many females, were present. After prayers 
they were organized, and I stepped into the desk and said, My 
Christian brethren, [from] the kindness by which you sustained 
me in the days of adversity, and have continued to patronise 
me in prosperity, I am not surprised you should be somewhat 
agitated at the present reports. I have made no engagements 
with Newtown or any other parish, although I have had flatter- 
ing prospects from many. But I trust when you consider the 
services I have performed, and the straitened circumstances in 
which I have discharged [my duties,] the repeated disappoint- 
ments to which I have submitted, and the mutual friendship 
that has so habitually prevailed, and the alarming situation of 
my wife and the want of my presence in her sufferings. And 
then the salutary effects of sea air and food, you would con- 
sider it a dispensation of Providence that calls for a mutual 
resignation; for I assure you it is with great reluctance that I 
entertain a thought of separation and leave friends I love and 
shall ever seek their welfare. Ah, and leave aged parents that 
need my sustaining care. Under all these circumstances, and 
many that are understood without multiplying words, I will 
submit the following proposals which you [made] two years 
[ago.] And that is to put a front to my present cottage, give 
£100 per annum, with [use] of the glebe, that 1 may remain 
with you and family. 1 will remain with } r ou endeavoring to 
do my duty, God being my helper. Or come to a mutual set- 
tlement, remaining in charge of my usual duties till the first of 
October. In the meantime I will introduce a candidate, board 
and pay him for performing service the Sundays I am at Lenox. 
May Ood give us wisdom and grace that the chain of friend- 
ship nor the bond [of] charity be not broken. I left the church. 
Mr. "William Bradley, one of the first churchmen, and first 
warden for many years, venerable for his liberality to the 
church and defense of the truth, who had for many years been 
to me more like a father than a parishioner, rose up and said, 
Mr. moderator, supposing my wife should go a journey and 
being absent beyond the set time, and being questioned on her 

210 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

return should say, Bradley, although we have lived together 
many years and quietly and generally happy, in my travels 1 
have become acquainted with another man with whom I think 
I could live more happy, now I propose a dissolution of our 
connection on condition that I remain [with] you till I find an- 
other woman to fill my place. I would say, no [I will not 
sleep with you another night,] go. I propose Mr. Burhans be 
dismissed now on the spot. Therefore, I propose a special 
committee be now appointed and directed to settle with Mr. 
Burhans and pass receipts. The motion was seconded and 
una7iimously carried and in the space of one hour a mutual 
settlement was completed and receipts were passed. White 
sitting by my window, within two rods of the church door, the 
congregation came out, some weeping, others fretting and a 
few in a rage, pouring forth bitter words. One says, "There 
is your priest, professing to be a shepherd, a wolf in sheep's 
clothing. Now he tells you he has a call from God. How 
loud is his call, $500.00, a call that would sound very gratefully 
and irresistibly in the ears of many clergymen." I held my 
peace with a clear conscience and grateful heart to Almighty 
God for all His mercies, and especially that I might be relieved 
from long absence from my suffering wife, who was more sub- 
ject to her violent spasms in my absence. While my other 
parish and primitive believers in the neighboring towns regret- 
ted our separation, and as I was not to remove until October, 
were desirous of my continuing [the] usual services which I 
did with unwearied diligence. 

As Providence has overruled my various trials for greater 
good is strikingly illustrated by my abrupt dismissal from St. 
Luke's at Lanesborough. The Rev. Mr. Allen, the Oongrega- 
tion[al] [minister] of Pittsfield, lost a daughter in London, 
.England, leaving a young child. Mr. Allen's parential [affec- 
tions] were such that he crossed the Atlantic near seventy years 
of ajz;c, and brought home the infant. 

His pulpit being vacant only as occasionally supplied by the 
neighboring ministers, the committee made application to me 
to officiate for them one-half of the time, during my residence 
in the county, which I did from July to October, for which 

The Protestant Episcopal CI tar eh in Berkshire. 211 

they made a bountiful remuneration, with the following testi- 
mony "You have taught us more Christian morality, than we 
have had for years." During this period 1 read the morning 
and evening service of the Protestant Episcopal Church, with- 
out a single response, except when some Episcopalian happened 
to be present. In consequence of the above services in Pitts- 
field within the space of three years an Episcopal parish was 
canonically and legally established, and, at this day, 1853, they 
have a beautiful church and the most nourishing congregation 
in that vicinity." 

This is the last paragraph of the autobiography that concerns 
Mr. Burhans' work in this county. lie is mistaken in saying 
that in three years a parish was formed. It was not until 
March 4th, 1305 i that "The Protestant Episcopal Society of 
Lenox," was incorporated by the General Court, in which 
members of the Protestant Episcop'al Church in Lenox, Lee, 
Stockbridge and Pittsh'eld were included. When Mr. Burhans 
leaves for Newtown there were congregations permanently es- 
tablished in three towns and the church people from other 
towns attended the public worship in some one of the three. 
lie had been diligent in his calling, he had shown the ability 
for organizing that made him afterward one of the honored 
and trusted members of the General Convention, and in the 
diocese of Connecticut gavo him great iniluence. The church- 
men of Berkshire should not allow the memory of this servant 
of the Master to perish. His work was well done and has en- 
dured to the present day. After thirty-one years of usefulness 
at Newtown he enjoyed a partial rest of a year, when, in 1831, 
he became rector of St. Peter's church, Plymouth, Conn., and 
remained six years when the growing infirmities of the flesh 
compelled his resignation in 1831). He, however, officiated af-. 
terward at Oxford and Zoar until in 1811, at the age of eighty- 
one and in the fifty-first year of his ministry, he removed to 
Poughkeepsie, New York, where he passed a green old age, 
burning to the last his midnight oil, reading, studying and 
writing until on the 30th day of December, 1853, he died, in 
the ninety-first year of his age, being then the oldest clergy- 
man of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the country. He 

212 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

was buried at Newtown, Conn., and in the present church 
building of that parish a brass tablet lias been recently placed 
to his memory. Dr. Burhans is described as a man of com- 
manding personal appearance, of a large and well built frame, 
of a healthful and ruddy countenance, of a nervous tempera- 
ment and somewhat quick in his movements. His manners 
were simple and natural. He was married four times, his List 
marriage being in May, 1852. 

Such were priest and people in the last century ; men who 
hazarded their lives for the gospel, and like William Bradley 
and others of Lanesborough, William Whiting, John Bnrg- 
hardt, Samuel Lee, John Williams and others of Great Bar- 
rington, Henry Van Scliaack of Pittstield, Jared Bradley of 
Lee, Samuel Quincy, Azariah Eggleston, Caleb Hyde of Lenox, 
and many more whose names would form a catalogue of faith- 
ful men and women who gave freely and gladly of their sub- 
stance to obtain the religious worship that seemed to them 
primitive and apostolic. They wrought in faith, and departed 
from this world leaving honored names, in the firm confidence 
that the branch of Christ's Holy Catholic Church, known as 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States would 
grow and prosper in Berkshire, and their bright anticipations 
have not been unfulfilled. The three parishes with their less 
than one hundred communicants have increased to fourteen 
with ten hundred and eighty -four (1,084) communicants, and 
in four other places regular services are maintained. The five 
hundred dollars then paid for the support of the parishes has 
become $33,551.33 in the past year, with $500.00 additional 
for the new memorial church of St. Paul at Stockbridge, be- 
sides $2,846.49 for diocesan and general objects. Activity and 
energy characterize the churchmen of the county, they have 
become a power for good in every community, honored and 
respected by all, cannot everyone say; knowing that they are 
doing the Lord's work in the way they think right, "The 
Lord prosper you, we wish you good luck in the name of the 

A Sketch of the 
Samuel Phillips Family. 

By LEVI BEEBE of Great Baruington. 


This family was one of the first to settle in New Marlbor- 
ough, and the name of the father of this family was Seth Phil- 
lips. I have not heen able to learn his birth-place. 

Samuel Phillips was born April 12, 1777, in the town of 
New Marlborough. His first wife's name was Betsy Pixley, a 
(laughter of Hall Pixley, one of the early settlers of Great Par- 
rington. Another of this Hall Pixley's daughters married 
William Day and was the mother of Guy Day, who made the 
plucky light with the liussells for a water privilege to manu- 
facture rubber goods; the Pussells won and the place has been 
desolate from that time to this. 

Petsy was burn May 12, 1780, in Great Parrington. Her 
father, Hall Pixley, was to reeeive a tract of land from the 
State for building a hotel, on the road from AVestfield to Great 
Parrington. As near as lean learn this hotel was built near the 
foot of Three Mile Hill. His name appears frequently in the 
records of the early settlements of Great Parrington, and in the 
transfers of land. 

We find on five monuments in the old cemetery in Great 
Parrington near the center of the old ground, just north of two 
elm trees, these records of the Hall Pixley family: 

Hall Pixley. 
Died June 27, 1830, Aged 9G years. 
From Parent, friend hese gone, 
His God lias called him home. 
In memory of 
Martam Pixley, 
Consort of Hall Pixley, died Oct. 27, 1825, aged 79 years. 
To thy redeeming love we owe 
Our release. from eternal woe, 
Our hope of all the joys that reigns, 
On yonder bright celestial plains. 

V 216 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Died, May 17th, 1820, 
Consort of Mr. Samuel Phillips, aged. 40 years. 
Friends or Physicians could not save 
My mortal body from ihe grave, 
Nor can the grave confine me here 
When Christ shall call me to appear. 
Wife of William Day, died April 15, 1841, aged 00 years. 
Death or its sting she knew no fear, 
But tasted heaven while she lingered here. 
Oh ! happy saint, we, like thee, be blest, 
In life be faithful and in death find rest. 
William Day, 
Died April 23, I860, aged 75 years. 
These records relate to the father and mother of Samuel 
Phillips' first wife and the mother of six of his children. 

Samuel Phillips, the father of fifteen children, was a strong, 
healthy man whose word was as good as his hond ; he was a 
Jeffersonian Democrat, as to his religious faith I know nothing 
— he had religion enough to make him honest, and was much 
beloved and respected by his neighbors. 

When Jackson, his youngest son, took the old homestead, 
and was to care for the old folks the rest of their lives, one of 
his first purchases was a handsome buggy ; his father said : 
" Jackson be careful or you can carry all your possessions down 
the mountain in that buggy." 

So strange was the respect of his neighbors for this man that 
they said often, when he died the whole mountain would go 
back into forests; and all but one family sold and left the dis- 
trict as soon as they could after his death, which event occurred 
April 3, IS GO, at the age of 82 years, lie is buried in the old 
Stockbridge cemetery ; his grave is marked by a large stone 
monument. There are none of the family buried with him. 

I have not been able to learn the date of their marriage. It 
must have been about 1800, as their first child, Seth Phillips, 
was born Sept. 10, 1802; Polly Phillips was born Sept. 5, 
1801; Samuel, Jr., May 1, 1806; Laura, Dec. 22, 1808; Al- 
bert, Oct. 1, 1810; Eliza, Nov. 5, 1812; Nancy, June 9, 1814. 
These children were married and scattered through the West, 
to clear and build homes in the then new Territories. 

A Sketch of the Samuel Phillips Family. q 2j\1 

Albert lived a spell on the mountain, on a farm afterwards 
owned by Hiram Bills, went West, staid a few years and came 
back and lived near his father for three or four years; but he 
had smelt the riches of the prairie soil and had to return to the 
West again. 

I am indebted to Mrs. Laura Fairchilds, one of the first wife's 
children, and Mrs. Julia Battles, the youngest of the second 
wife's children, for the names and dates of the Phillips family 

Mary McCollnm, Samuel Phillips second wife, was born 
May 0, 1704, in Tyringham; her parents were of Scotch de- 
scent and were farmers. She was a tall, slim woman, with 
a fine sparkling eye, with great firmness of mind and tempera- 
ment, a kind and loving neighbor, beloved and respected by 
all who knew her. She went to Chippewa, Chippewa Co., 
Wis., with Jackson, her youngest son, and is buried there. 

The names of the children by Mary are : 

Mary Phillips, born Nov. 17, 1822; James, Jan. 22, 1824; 
John, March 30, 1825; William, March 2, 1827; Jared, Oct. 
5, 1828; George, June 20, 1830; Jackson, June 23, 1S32; 
Julia, April 23, 1834. Making a family of fifteen children 
born to Samuel Phillips. 

Born in the good old days when every farm house was some- 
thing more than a farm house, for all kinds of manufacturing 
were carried on under the same roof where the butter and cheese 
were made, and the cloth from the wool, flax and tow was made ; 
in all these opperations the little fingers were kept busy and the 
little time they had to play was much enjoyed. Body and mind 
were strengthened in the house as well as in the field, where 
the boys rode down the mountain side on ice glades, with their 
loads of wood and logs, that would make the dwellers in vil- 
lages shudder with fear. 

Boys and girls then were self-reliant, and grappled with the 
pleasures and necessities of life without fear or asking favor. 

In this old mountain district, in those early days, there were 
from 40 to 50 scholars, and I wish I could draw a picture of 
those young people as they yoked their cattle and hitched them 
to wagon or sleigh to go to a husking, apple-cut or candy-pull. 

218 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Wealth, literary attainments and etiquette had nut separated 
the strong from the weak, as is the ease to-day, but these gath- 
erings were full of fun and frolic, as only strong and healthy 
children can enjoy the pleasures and duties of life. Laws 
were made for all the people, and not for individuals as is the 
case to-day. The duties and cares of life were more equally 
borne by all. 

All the children of both families were born in Great Bar- 

James Phillips married Sarah Fairchilds in Lee county, Illi- 
nois. They had four children. He went to California in 1848, 
earned his passage across the plains by driving a government 
team; after three years on the Pacific coast, he returned East 
with $0,000; he then settled in Lee county, Illinois, where he 
had one of the finest farms in the state. He went to Pike's 
Peak in 1854, but did not realize much for his labor. He 
went to Southern Colorado in the fall uf 1871, and invested in 
mining property; he with others founded the city of Del 
Norte, one of the principal towns of Southern Colorado, lie 
brought the first saw mill into that section, and furnished 
money to build the first cabins of the town. 

He died Nov. 7, 1880, at the age of 57. 

The great interest in this family centers in William and 
Jared ; these boys, as well as Jackson, were sent to the old 
Lenox Academy, where their educations were finished as to 

To see the importance of their lives to the liberty of the 
slaves and the welfare of this nation, it is important to men- 
tion some of the facts and doings in the early settlements of 

Missouri being desirous of admission to the union, a bill was 
introduced into Congress, in the session of 1818-19. Mr. E. 
Taylor of New York had it amended in the House so as to ex- 
clude slavery from the new State. 

The bill was lost in the Senate; and from this came those bit- 
ter discussions in Congress, the press, and by almost every fire- 
side in the land. 

The Compromise was proposed by Mr. Thomas of Illinois, 

A Sketch of the Samuel Phillips Family. 219 

fixing the line 30° 30' as the boundary between slave and free 
territories. This bill was passed, and signed by President 
Monroe, on the last of March, 1820. 

I mention these facts, as I may want to draw some reasons in 
favor of the men, that were led to perpetrate the cruel wrongs 
inflicted on the Free State men of Kansas. 

On the 7th of June, 1836, a bill was passed giving to Missouri 
a piece of land between the Missouri River and the west line 
of the State. This was north of 36° 30'. The first trespass on 
the free territory. 

In 1853, Mr. Douglas of Illinois, chairman of the Committee 
on Territories, introduced a bill to create the Territory of Ne- 
braska — a very large part of the North-west, — subsequently he 
brought in another bill to make two Territories, Kansas and 
Nebraska, of this North-west territory. All this territory was 
north of 36° 30'. 

This bill with amendments occupied a great deal of the time 
of this Congress, 1853-5-1. In both Houses the discussion was 
carried on with a vehemence and passion rarely exhibited in a 
deliberative body. 

On the 25th of May, 1854, this bill which left these terri- 
tories free to the inhabitants to form free or slave States was 
signed by President Pierce. On the 30th of the same month, 
the news of the passage of this bill was the signal for the death- 
struggle between slavery and freedom on the ground. 

The advocates of slavery had the united voice of the ScAvth 
as far as any public utterance was possible. The friends of 
freedom in the North had the almost unanimous opposition of 
the press of both the Democrat and the Whig parties, while 
the religions press was almost unanimously in favor of the 
sacredncss of slavery and its constitutionality. 

I should like to give some extracts from the New York Ob- 
server if it could be done without making this paper too long. 

I was confronted by the minister who preached where I had 
joined the class on probation, that if I voted the abolition ticket 
I was as vile as any thief; and this church was in this good old 
county of Berkshire, but, nevertheless, I cast my first vote for 
James G. Birnie in the town of Lee, forty-four years ago 

220 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

last presidential election with seven others. The substitute 
of Mr. Douglas was intended and so understood, that Ne- 
braska should become a free and Kansas a slave State, — it was 
so regarded (as all its acts show) by the then Administration. 
This, in fact, is the only excuse for the outrages committed 
against free state settlers. Pro-slavery men believed it was not 
only justifiable, but a virtue, to persecute even to death all 
Northern people who should enter the territory with a disposi- 
tion to defeat or thwart their object. This was the feeling in 
all the South, and many high in authority at the seat of the 
Federal government. On the other hand, there were many 
Northern men who regarded the Kansas and Nebraska Act as 
an infamous scheme to violate a sacred compact, and to perpe- 
trate and extend in opposition to every honorable view an in- 
stitution which they viewed with horror and detestation. 

About this time a gentleman, Andrew II. Iveeder, Esq., from 
Pennsylvania, was appointed Governor of Kansas ; he arrived 
at Fort Leavenworth on the 6th of October, 1854. He was a 
Democrat, but was not brought to do the bidding of these law- 
less people, and dealt out justice impartially. The consequence 
was a very brief duration of the Governor's official existence. 
Judge after judge was sent to the territory but when they saw 
the work they were expected to do they resigned, and some 
even refused to take their seats. 

The first election in the territory was held on the 29th of 
November, 1854, and was for a delegate to Congress. There 
were three candidates, Mr. Fliniken, Judge J. A. Wakefield, 
an acknowledged free statesman, and John W. Whitefield, an 
Indian agent and one of the most ultra of the pro-slavery party. 
Whitefield at first pretended to want fair play and the majority 
to rule. After his nomination he, in a speech, made use of the 
following words : 

"We can recognize but two parties in the territory, the pro- 
slavery and the anti-slavery parties. If the citizens of Kansas 
want to live in peace and feel at home they must become pro- 
slavery men; but if they want to live with gangs of thieves 
and robbers they must go with the abolition party. There can 

A /Sketch of the Samuel Phillips Family. 221 

be no third party — no more than two issues — slavery and no 
slavery in Kansas territory." 

At this election large parties from Missouri entered the ter- 
ritory and insisted on voting. It was ascertained that 1,729 
illegal votes were cast out of 2,871. These illegal votes were 
cast for Whitefield, who was elected. 

In coming more directly to the history of William and Jared, 
the spirit of William will be seen by this advertisement which 
he had printed when he determined to sacrifice home and its 
comforts — he had a good home, a young and handsome wife, 
with considerable wealth; they had only been married two 
years when he was killed, she returned to his old home in this 
mountain and was afterwards married to Jackson, William's 
youngest brother, and went West with him, — he is largely em- 
ployed in lumbering, — he left this home to keep slavery out of 
Nebraska. At this time, Aug. 10, 1S54, the territories of 
Kansas and Nebraska were in one territory, Nebraska. 
Land for Sale in Lee County. 

Whole of Section 22, together with lU acres of timber hind, in township 
21, range 11, east of the 4th P. M., 120 acres of which are broke, eighty 
acres fenced and under cultivation ; three miles of Osage orange hedge 
around it, and within four miles of the Franklin Grove Depot. Also, a 
good house and nine and a half acres in the village of Lee Centre. All or 
any of these lands will be sold in quantities to suit the purchaser. 

I am bound to sell these lands, for 1 have arrangements to go to Nebraska. 
I feel it my duty to go there and vote against slavery, and ana desirous to 
get a company of abolitionists to go with me for the same patriotic and 
philanthropic purpose. 
Lee Ckntre, Aug. 16, 1854. William Phillips. 

William Phillips' admission to the Bar: 
State of Illinois, ss. 

William Phillips of Laselle County, Illinois, having exhibited to the un- 
dersigned, two of the Justices of the Supreme Court, of said state aforesaid, 
satisfactory evidence of his good character and of his qualifications for ad- 
mission as an Attorney and Counselor at Law : 

We do, therefore, hereby authorize and license the said William Phillips 
to appear in all the courts of record in the state of Illinois, both at law and 
equity and herein to practice as an Attorney and Counselor. 

Witness our hands and seals this 3d day of April, A. D. 1854. 

S. II. Neat. l. s. 

J. D. Eaton. l. s. 

222 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

State of Illinois, bs. 

Supreme Court of said state, Third Grand Division : I, Lorenzo Leland, 
clerk of said Supreme Court, do hereby certify that William Phillips has 
been regularly licensed and admitted to practice as an Attorney and Coun- 
selor at Law within this state, and he has duly taken the oath to support the 
Constitution of the United States and of this state, and also the oath of of- 
fice as prescribed by law, and that I have duly enrolled his name on the roll 
of Attorney and Counselor in my ollice. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of Su- 
preme Court at Ottawa, this 3d day of April, A. D. 1854. 

L. Leland, Clerk. 
By P. Leland, Deputy Clerk. 
State of Illinois, 

William Phillips. 

LaSalle County, ' 

I, the within named William Phillips, do solemdly swear by the ever liv- 
ing God, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the 
State of Illinois, and that I will in all things faithfully execute the duties of 
an Attorney and Counselor at Law according to the best of my understand- 
ing and ability. 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3d day ' 
of April, A. D. 1S54, Lorenzo Leland, Clerk of 
the Supreme Court of said county, in and for the 
Third Grand Division. 

By P. Leland, Deputy Clerk. 

He sold and went to Kansas, and we shall see he did all he 
could to make it a free State. 

A committee of Vigilance, consisting of thirty persons was 
appointed, whose duty it was to observe and report all such per- 
sons as should "by the expressions of abolition sentiments pro- 
duce a disturbance to the quiet of the citizens, or danger to 
their domestic relations; and all such persons so offending shall 
be notiiied and made to leave the territory." This committee 
found abundant employment and was exceedingly active issu- 
ing orders to all " free-state men, who should dare to express a 
sentiment adverse to the institution of slavery, to quit the ter- 
ritory at a specified time or suffer the penalty of death. Under 
its edicts many good men were driven from their homes and 
their wives and children, compelled to flee to distant parts for 
safety and protection. 

Among those ordered to leave was Mr. William Phillips, a 
lawyer of Leavenworth, who had signed a protest against the 
election in that city. Upon his refusal to qo, he was, on the 
17th of May, seized by a band of men chiefly from Missouri. 

A Sketch of the Samuel PhiUips Family. 223 

who carried him eight miles up the river to Weston, where 
they shaved one-half of his head, tarred and feathered him, 
rode him on a rail, and sold him at a mock auction by a negro, 
all of which he hore with manly fortitude and hravery, he then 
returned to Leavenworth and persisted in remaining, notwith- 
standing his life was constantly threatened and in danger. 

On the 25th of May, just eight days after the perpetration 
of the outrage ahove narrated, another meeting was held at 
Leavenworth, over which R. R. Rees, a member elect of the 
council, presided. "This meeting," the papers say, was also 
"eloquently addressed by Judge Lecompte," after which the 
following resolutions offered by Judge Payne, a member elect 
of the House of Representatives, were unanimously adopted : 

"Resolved, That we heartily endorse the action of the com- 
mittee of citizens that shaved, tarred and feathered, rode on a 
rail and sold by a negro, AVilliam Phillips the moral perjurer. 

"Resolved, That we return our thanks to the committee for 
faithfully performing the trust enjoined upon them by the pro- 
slavery party. 

"Resolved, That we severely condemn those pro-slavery men 
who from mercenary motives, are calling upon the pro-slavery 
party to submit without further action. 

" Resolved, That in order to secure peace and harmony to 
the community, we now solemnly declare that the pro-slavery 
party will stand firmly by and carry out the resolutions re- 
ported by the committee appointed for that purpose on the 
memorable 30th. 

"Resolved, That the committee be now discharged." 

Meetings were also held in numerous towns in Missouri, to 
approve the proceedings of the invaders at the March election, 
at which violent addresses were made and denunciatory resolu- 
tions were passed. The following, adopted at a meeting held 
in Clay county, will give an idea of their general tenor : 

"Those who, in our state, would give aid to the abolitionists 
by inducing or assisting them to settle Kansas, or would throw 
obstacles in the way of our friends by false and shmderoiis 
misrepresentations of the acts of those who took part in and 
contributed to the glorioiis result of the late election in that 

224 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Territory, should be driven from amongst ns as traitors to their 
country, — 

"That we regard the efforts of the northern division of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church to establish itself in our State as a 
violation of her plighted faith, and, pledged as its ministers 
must be to the anti-slavery principles of that church, we are 
forced to regard them as enemies to our institutions. AVe, 
therefore, fully concur with our friends in Platte county in re- 
solving to permit no person belonging to the Northern Metho- 
dist church to preach in our county. — 

"That all who are subscribers to papers in the least tinctured 
with free-soilism or abolitionism are requested to discontinue 
them immediately." 

The Missouri press was extremely vituperative against all 
who dared to condemn the course pursued in regard to the 
Kansas election. The Brunswiekers found fault with a con- 
temporary in the following choice terms : 

u The last Jefferson Inquirer is down on the citizens of Mis- 
souri who took steps to secure the election of pro-slavery men 
to the Territorial Legislature of Kansas. This is in keeping 
with the Inquirer* 8 past conduct. If the editor of that paper 
had been in Kansas on the day of election he would have voted 
with the abolitionists. That he is a negro-stealer at heart we 
have no doubt." 

The Platte county luminary was printed at Parkeville, 
Missouri, and was owned by Mr. Parke, one of the oldest resi- 
dents, after whom the town was named. After the March 
election this paper ventured to condemn, though in gentle 
terms, the Missouri invasion ; upon which, a few days after- 
wards, April 14th, a company was formed at Platte City, and, 
arming themselves for the occasion, marched to Parkeville, 
broke to pieces the press of the Luminary and threw it, with 
all the materials belonging to the office, into the Missouri 
lliver. They also seized Mr. Paterson, the editor, Mr. Parke 
being absent, and would have killed him but for the interfer- 
ence of his wife, a young, beautiful woman, who threw herself 
about his neck to which she clung so firmly that it was diffi- 
cult to separate them. They finally relinquished their inten- 

A Sketch of the Samuel Phillips Famiily. 225 

tion, released their prisoner and permitted him to leave the 
place under penalty of losing his life should he refuse to go or 
dare to return. 

It seems almost necessary that men are so placed that the} 7 
must disregard laws or orders of superiors, in order that truth 
should prevail, as the action of Nelson at Copenhagen, Lieu- 
tenant Napoleon Boneparte at Toulon, our own Jackson at Pou- 
sacola. "John Brown's body" would not have been "moulder- 
ing in the grave as we go marching on," if he had not dis- 
obeyed the laws. 

Not having ever been in danger of losing my life at the 
hands of my fellows, I could not say howAVilliam Phillips felt 
when he threw his life away for his country's rights. I copy 
the words of John Wilkes when he was about to meet the irate 
Lord Talbot in a duel at Bagshot : "I enjoyed life as much as 
any man in it, that I was as little subject to be gloomy or even 
peevish as any Englishman whatever, that I could never quit 
it by my own consent except on a eall of honor." Talbot with 
the king's pardon in his pocket fitly represented the pro slavery 
men in this great struggle, while AVikes was sure to wear the 
king's halter, if his minions could catch him, but knowing the 
facts, he had made arrangements to escape to France. 

On the first of September, Captain Erederiek Emory, a 
United States mail contractor, rendered himself conspicuous in 
Leavenworth at the head of a band of mounted ruffians, mostly 
from western Missouri. They entered -houses, stores and dwel- 
lings of free-state people, and in the name of "law and order," 
abused and robbed the occupants and drove them out into the 
roads, irrespective of age, sex or condition. Under pretense of 
searching for arms they approached the house of William 
Phillips, the lawyer who had previously been tarred and feath- 
ered and carried to Missouri. Phillips supposing he was to be 
.subjected to a similar outrage, resolved not to submit to the in- 
dignity and stood upon his defense. In repelling the assault 
of the mob, he killed two of them, when the others burst into 
the house and poured a volley of balls into his body, killing 
liim instantly, in the presence of his wife and his brother 
Jarod's wife. His brother, who was also present, had an arm 

226 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

badly broken with bullets, and was compelled to submit to an 

Fifty of the free-state prisoners were then driven on board 
the Polar Star, bound for St. Louis. On the next day a hun- 
dred more were embarked by Emory and his men, on the 
steamboat Emma. 

During these proceedings, an election was held for Mayor 
and William E. Murphy, since appointed Indian agent by the 
President, was elected "without opposition." 

. At this time civil war raged in all the populous districts. 
Women and children had lied from the territory. The roads 
were impassable. No man's life was safe and every person 
when he lay down to rest at night bolted and barred his doors, 
and fell asleep firmly grasping his pistol, gun or knife. 

After William was killed they took his law library and 
heaped his books up in the street and burned them ; his office 
and barn they burned, and they stole his horse. 

Jared Phillips married Eliza P. Perry, to her I am indebted 
for many facts in this paper. Uer father was born in Charles- 
town, Rhode Island, July 24, 1810. Her mother's name was 
Sarah Tucker; she was born in Tolland, Mass., Nov. 19, 1812. 
Mr. Perry was a relative of Commodore Perry and lived many 
years on this mountain, and if these old hills could speak they 
might relate some exciting tales about Jared's and Eliza's 

They were in Leavenworth in 1855. A mob or company went 
into Cherokee street to destroy a free 5 state printing press there. 
They made so much noise, Jared went near to see what was going 
on, and as it was in the evening they took him prisoner, called 
him an abolitionist and other hard names, got a rope and were 
going to hang him for going too near, when they were at work ; 
they all went into a saloon to drink, and talk over their plans 
for the hanging; but some in the company knew Jared, and as 
they saw that the leaders were in earnest, they managed to get 
hold of him while they were drinking, got him to a door in the 
back part of the saloon, then into the street, told him to get 
away out of their sight for his life. 

This was the way free-state men were served in Kansas. 

A Sketch of the Samuel Phillips Family. 227 

Next day the children had the type of the printing office to 
play with in the street. 

Jared was a member of the Frontier Guard, after doing all 
he could to make Kansas a free state. We hear of him in 
Washington serving under Capt. Jim Lane, in the east room 
in the White house, from the 18th day of April, 1801, to the 
3d of May, 18G1. I have here a copy of his discharge which I 
will read. At this time the Capitol was guarded by Massachu- 
setts volunteers. 

Jared Phillips' discharge : — 

United States oe Amebic a. 

Washington City, Apr. 27, 1861. c 
To Hon. S. Cameron, Secretary of War : 

Sir : In consequence of the arrival of large numbers of 
troops in this city I am satisfied the emergency has ceased that 
called our company into service. If you concur in this opinion 
I should be pleased to receive authority from you to disband 
said company, and to honorably discharge the members thereof 
from the service. 

Very truly, 

J. II. Lane, Capt. Cora. d. g. 

War Department, Apr. 27, 1861. 
Gen. James II. Lane, 

Sir : In reply to your letter of this date, stating that in con- 
sequence of the arrival of large numbers of troops in this city, 
the emergency has ceased which called the company com- 
manded by you into service, and that you would be pleased, 
therefore, to have authority to disband your company, and have 
an honorable discharge from service for it. 

Concurring fully with you I readily grant you the authority 
asked for, and in doing so, I beg to extend to you and through 
you to the men under your command, the assurance of my 
high appreciations of the prompt and patriotic manner in 
which your company was organized for the defense of the 
Capitol and the very efficient services rendered by it during 
the time of its existence. 

Very respectfully, 

Simon Cameron. 
Cheerfully approved, A. Lincoln. 

228 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

By authority vested in me as Captain of Frontier Guard, I, 
James II. Lane, do hereby certify that Jared Phillips, a mem- 
ber of said company, served his country in defense of the Na- 
tional Capitol, in a time of great peril, when threatened. by 
hordes of traitors, said services commencing on the eighteenth 
day of April, 18<>1, and ending on the date hereof. ' I also, by 
virtue of said authority, do hereby honorably discharge the 
said Jared Phillips from the service of the United States. 

(liven under my hand at the East Iloom of the Executive 
Mansion, at Washington City, this third day of May, 1801. 

J. II. Lane, Copt. 
Attest, J. B. Stockton, 2<:Z Lieut. 

The following is a letter written by Jared, while at Wash- 
ington, to his wife : 

Washington, Apr. 20, 1SG1. 

My dear wife: This is a beleaguered city. Our communi- 
cations are cut oil' by the tight yesterday in Baltimore. I saw 
the Massachusetts regiment come in yesterday, they were ready 
for a fight. We have about 120 men and are stationed in the 
East room of the White house. Night before last we camped 
there all night. We are each armed with two revolvers and a 
sharp rifle with sword bayonet. If we have a tight you will 
hear a good account of the Frontier Guard. Many here are 
leaving, but I am inclined to stay and see it out. I hope you 
will not worry about me. This city will be a vast military 
camp in ten days. I do not know whether you will get this, 
but they may not stop the mails. Give my love to all and give 
Arthur a kiss for me. Good-bye. 

Your affectionate husband, 

Jared Phillips. 

i*. s. We are ordered on duty to-night, all the public build- 
ings are garrisoned. A thousand rumors are in circulation. 
You will probably get news from here before you get this. 

J. P. 

We see by these papers that when the capitol was as black 
with treason as Hades is with sulphuric smoke according to the 
most orthodox view, many men, Northern, as well as citizens 
of Washington, were offering from fifty to one hundred and 

A Sketch of the Samuel Phillips Family. 229 

fifty dollars to be carried ten miles north of Washington. Jim 
Lane and his company consisting of one hundred and twenty 
Frontier Guards held the post of honor and probably saved the 
President's life, as all Southern men knew these men could and 
would shoot. 

Here I have a copy of the last letter written by Jared to his 
wife when he crossed the plains : 

Omaha, May 28, 1862. 

My dear wife: We are just ready to start, we have four 
mules and two light wagons, there is thi;ee of us at present but 
perhaps we shall take in another as passenger; we start in the 
morning. The weather is fine ; grass about six inches high. 
There has about two thousand teams, averaging about four per- 
sons to a team, crossed at this ferry already, so we shall have 
plenty of company. There is two regiments of troops on the 
route, and a party of about 100 mounted men are to start from 
here about the middle of June. We hear pretty large stories 
about Salmon River mines, they talk of $200 a day diggings, 
and of gamblers betting an oyster can of gold dust blind and 
two cans better for common. We have only 500 pounds to 
each wagon and our wagons are light, and I think we shall go 
right through. It is perfectly astonishing the number of wo- 
men and children that are going across. I sometimes think 
how you would look going across, taking care of five or six 
children and cooking and perhaps driving the young cattle 
while I would drive the ox team. I have been practicing my 
voice and think I would do. Write and tell me when you are 
ready to go. I already feel first rate ; plenty of work is just 
what I want. I do not know as it would be of any use for you 
to send letters to any point on the route, but 1 want you to 
write to me at Walla Walla, Washington Territory. Write 
once a week for two or three weeks and I shall be apt to get 
some of them. You will probably have to pay ten cents pos- 
tage, but you can inquire of the Post Master. I have made 
arrangements with Albert to send you some money if he sells 
some lots, which there was a fine prospect when I left. To- 

230 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

morrow we are away, so good-bye. I shall write often and re- 
port to headquaters of progress. Give my love to all. 
Your husband, 

Jabed Phillips. 

Jared deseribed his situation at Washington as being like 
Kansas enlarged. 

Jared was taken prisoner the ninth of Angnst, on Snake 
River about fifty miles below Fort Hall, by the Snake Indians, 
taken down the river about three-quarters of a mile and mur- 
dered. There were fourteen others murdered by them the 
same day. 

So we must conclude, if these Phillips boys and other good 
and true men had not given their lives for the freedom of 
Kansas, it would have been a slave state; Abraham Lincoln 
would not have been elected President of the United States. 

How much longer the slaves would have been kept in bondage 
by this great national sin, no eye can sec but His, who orders 
all things well. 

The Indian Mission in 



Up to the second decade of the last century the western 
border of our State seems to have been as little known as are 
the regions around Hudson's Bay at the present time. The 
boundary between Massachusetts and New York was still un- 
determined and the country a wilderness, except where a few 
Dutchmen had made clearings under the grant of the Living- 
stone manor lying beyond, which, as was then claimed, over- 
lapped portions of the present towns of Egremont, Great Bar- 
rington, Sheffield, Alford and Mount Washington. Here, on 
the intervals along the Housato.nic lived a small tribe of Indians, 
mostly in three villages — the lowest in what is now Sheffield ; 
another in Great Barrington, and the northernmost in Stock- 
bridge. In 172-i, by act of the General Court of the Province, 
two townships, called at first, the Upper and Lower Housa- 
tonic, were ordered to be laid out, and not long after were 
allotted to some sixty persons who had petitioned for the terri- 
tory, besides reserved lots for the ministers and the schools. 
The land had been previously purchased of the Indians, except 
a tract — a reservation for themselves — of about 1,600 acres 
along the boundary line between the two townships. They 
seem, however, not to have gathered in a body on this reserva- 
tion, when, in 173-1, a new aspect was given to their affairs on 
this wise : — - 

A humble well-doer, of whom — so far as I am aware — noth- 
ing is known except his name, Ebenezer Miller, and residence, 
West Springfield, who appears to have been acquainted with 
the condition of these Indians and was thereby prompted to do 
them good, "interviewed" the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, his pas- 
tor, stated their case and succeeded in awakening his active 
interest in their behalf. The latter communicated with Col. 
John Stoddard of Northampton, and with Rev. Dr. Stephen 

234 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Williams of Longmeadow, and, from the co-operative benevo- 
lence of this trio of Christian philanthropists, good works forth- 
with proceeded. 

There then existed a Society — originating, I believe, in Scot- 
land — entitled "The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts," which operated in this country through the 
Provincial "Board of Indian Commissioners" in Boston. To 
this Board Mr. Hopkins and his associates applied for aid, and 
were requested to visit the Indians and make report on which 
action might be determined. It so happened that Gov. Belcher 
had just conferred on Konkapot and Umpachenee, the two most 
prominent men of the tribe, commissions of Captain and Lieu 
tenant respectively, and the candidates for these titles were to 
meet the Governor at Springfield, with an interpreter, to re- 
ceive the investiture of their honors — the cocked hat and scarlet 
coat of the British army. 

This occurred in May, 1734, and the occasion was improved 
by the projectors of the Mission to interview these chiefs there 
on the subject. On broaching it to them, Konkapot was prompt 
to express his willingness, and Umpachenee, though not so cor- 
dial toward it, said he would not oppose. But both wisely 
agreed that the question should be referred to the tribe in coun- 
cil, and it was arranged that the ministers should go over to 
Housatonic, lay the matter before the assembled band and abide 
the result of their deliberations. 

Accordingly, on the 8th of July, 1734, Dr. Williams and 
Rev. Mr. Bull of Westfield, — (Mr. Hopkins being sick,) — after 
a rough travel of two days over a mountainous path designated 
by blazed trees, and a night's encampment in the woods, ar- 
rived at "The Great Wigwam," (Great Barrington). The In- 
dians of the lower village (Scatekook), now Sheffield, and from 
the upper (Wuatukook), Stockbridge, were summoned, and the 
council was opened with due formalities. An earnest session 
of four days followed and all the arguments for and against 
the project were thoroughly discussed. 

It would be interesting, but untimely, to note the objections 
adduced — suggested mainly by the influence of a few Dutch 
traders, who feared that the introduction of the Mission would 

The Indian Mission in Stockh'idge. 235 

impair the profits of their whiskey traffic with the natives. But 
Konkapot's noble heart was wholly engaged in the uplifting of 
his people, whom he harrangued with patriarchal authority; 
plainly told them that the fire-water of the whites was debas- 
ing, and would finally ruin them. His eloquence and influence 
triumphed, and at the close of the fourth day, the tribe voted, 
without a dissentient voice, to welcome the Mission and further 
all means for its success. A belt of wampum sealed the decis- 
ion, and it only remained for the Commissioners to^ settle the 
when and the lokere, and to procure the missionary. 

As in all projects which meet the smile of Heaven, proper 
agents are at hand for their accomplishment, so here a man was' 
shortly found, able, willing and nearly ready to devote his life 
to the forest heathen of the land. This was John Sergeant, a 
native of Newark, N. J., born in 1710, a graduate with honor 
at Yale, and in the third year of his tutorship in that institution. 
To the applications of the Commissioners he replied that he 
would shortly visit the locality, put preliminary requisites in 
train and — extraordinaries excepted — would, on the expiry of 
his en^a^ement at Yale, return to assume his life's work in the 

Accordingly, in October of that year, (1731) he came with 
the liev. Mr. Bull to Housatonic and preached his first sermon 
to an audience of twenty Indians, who were much interested 
therein, and on the following Thursday officiated again in Um- 
pachcnee's wigwam at Skatehook. He was interpreted by 
Ebenezer Boopoonuk, who, at this latter service, was baptized 
by Mr. Bull and thus had the honor of heading a long list of 
converts, who starred the crown of the devoted missionary's 
work of fifteen years, till summoned to wear it in the court of 

During this visit arrangements were made for greater con- 
venience by concentrating operations at the middle settlement. 
This necessitated the erection of a building which should serve 
the double purpose of school and chapel; and, with a hearty 
^ood will energizing busy hands, the structure was ready in 
two weeks for occupancy. In it, on the 5th of November, 
Sergeant met some twenty-five dusky pupils thirsty for the 


280 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

draughts of learning and of life lie was ready to instil. He re- 
mained for a month with them, meantime sending for Mr. 
Timothy Woodbridge of West Springfield, whom he installed 
as their teaeher, and then returned to Yale to finish his tutor- 
ship. He took with him two boys — sons of Konkapot and 
Umpachenec — for the purpose of teaching his own and learn- 
ing their language. Having kept up an interesting correspond- 
ence with his future parishoners during the winter and spring, 
Sergeant, in July, 1735, came to take up his permanent work 
in our valley. In August of that year he, with a delegation of 
his people headed by Konkapot, went over to Deerfield, and 
there, in presence of the Governor and Council and a numerous 
assembly, received ordination and commenced his pastoral 
labors on the 26th of October. The fruits began to mature 
early, for, in November, Konkapot, his wife and daughter, and 
shortly after Umpachenee, his wife and child were baptized. 
So zealous was Konkapot in his new belief, that he requested 
to be re-married after the Christian mode, which was accord- 
ingly done. His interpreter, Poopoonuk followed his example. 

In order to secure the best results for the Mission, on appli- 
cation by its founders to the Provincial authorities, a commis- 
sion consisting of John Stoddard, Ebenezer Pomeroy and 
Thomas Ingersoll, was appointed to come and consult with the 
Indians, and, with their consent, lay off a township expressly 
for them, where they might be gathered, allotted farms. in 
severalty and thus focized, as it were, within the scope of more 
condensed effort for improvement. This was accomplished in 
the spring of 1736, and a township six miles square, comprising 
the present territory of Stockbridge and West Stockbridgc was 
laid off, and three years later, incorporated. This was followed 
by a general removal hither of the tribe, after eighteen months' 
instructions at Great Ikrrington. 

As nearly as can be ascertained, they numbered at this time 
twenty families and about ninety individuals; in 1710, they 
had increased to 120; in 1749, the year of Mr. Sergeant's 
death, 218, and at the period of their removal westward, they 
were reckoned at 400. 

Four other English families were induced to settle in the 







The Indian Mission in StocJcbridge. 237 

township, as patterns of husbandry and housekeeping. To 
these, as also to their minister and their teacher, lots were as- 
signed at the request of the Indians, and the Mission was 
launched upon its career of usefulness with an infant church of 
fourteen communicants and more baptized; a school of forty 
children and adults, and a radiant bow of promise over all. 

Before proceeding farther in these annals, a few remarks 
will not be impertinent concerning the character of the tribe, 
which may disabuse us of any idea we may entertain that they 
were the abject, filthy, stolid savages such as are most of those 
with whom the nation has had to deal on our western frontier. 
Many of the vices which we are accustomed to associate with 
our aboriginal people, no record ascribes to the Ilousatonics. 
They are never complained of as thievish, quarrelsome or cruel. 
They certainly were the friends of the English, and this dis- 
position was regarded by Great Britain as fi better defense of 
our border from the French and their allies than a line of 
stockades. The only vice to which they seem to have been ad- 
dicted was the common one among all the uncivilized — the love 
of intoxicants. For indulgence in these they might accuse their 
pale-faced neighbor, as themselves were ignorant of their man- 
ufacture. Yet Sergeant found some among them who, from 
observation of alcoholic effects, were voluntary abstinents. 
There were individual cases of noble manhood, before the mis- 
sionary had discovered and given it direction. Among such 
Konkapot stands pre-eminent, of whom Mr. Hopkins wrote on 
his first acquaintance with him as follows: "lie is strictly 
temperate, very just and upright in his dealings; a man of 
prudence and industry, and inclined to embrace the Christian 
religion." In a very interesting letter — too long for insertion 
here — written by one who was present when Konkapot made 
profession of his new faith, this additional testimony is re- 
corded, "Konkapot is a man of fine presence, and the solemn 
manner in which, with deep, glutteral tones, he pronounced 
[his creed] visibly alfectcd the whole audience." Umpaehence 
also, illustrates the Indian shrewdness, spiced with suspicion, in 
the questions he asked the Commissioners who came to consult 
the tribe concerning the introduction of the Mission. "What 



Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

is the cause," said lie, "of the sudden favor shown my country- 
men? 1 ' "Why did Mr. Pomeroy ask so many questions about 
the owners of certain lands and the titles to them?" "Why, if 
the Christian religion he so true and good, do so many of its 
professors lead such had lives?" "If we should permit the 
whites to become co-proprietors of our lands, will not our child- 
ren he imperilled?" Such men surely were too keen for im- 
position, and the expression of such sagacity was a token that 
the mental soil from which it sprung was worthy of cultivation. 

But to our history. Shortly following their settlement in 
Stockhridge, on invitation hy Gov. Belcher, Mr. Sergeant, with 
Umpachenee and others, visited Boston and dined with the 
Governor and Council. In accordance with the Indian custom 
of gift making, — not without reference to corresponding re- 
turns — Umpachenee, after tendering the thanks of his tribe for 
favors received, presented the Government with territory lying 
one mile in width on each side of the road from the Ilousatonic 
to Westfield, 52 square miles, lie then asked aid from the 
Provincial Legislature in building a church and a school-house 
for his people. This petition was backed by a valuable bale of 
pelts. From this visit they returned much pleased with their 
great friends, and enriched by gifts of guns, blankets, etc. Nor 
did the Governor forget his promise of assistance for the Mis- 
sion. An appropriation by the next Legislature enabled them 
to erect a church 30x40 feet, which was dedicated on Thanks- 
giving (\\\y of 1739, — one hundred and fifty, years ago the pres- 
ent year. A school-house also rose on the present premises ot 
Mrs. C. Averill. The church occupied the site of the Field 
Memorial Tower, and was used in common by Indians and 
whites until nearly the close of the Revolutionary war. Up to 
this time a school-honse constructed of logs and bark stood near 
Konkapot's dwelling in South street, on the brook still bearing 
his name. It appears that the English and native children at- 
tended school together till 1700, when the first school-district 
was established. 

During the visit to Boston, above mentioned, some friend in 
tlie city gave them a large India Conch-shell, which served as 
a bell to summon the Mission congregation to church for many 

The Indian Mission in StocTcbridge. 239 

years. The blower was a strong-lunged Indian, named John 
Metoxin, whose annual compensation for the service, as we 
learn from the town records, was 20 shillings. He was also, at 
times, constable and selectman. The old shell, with its well- 
worn tip, is still to be seen in onr Public Library, and will re- 
spond to a competent blast as loudly as when it woke the echoes 
of the primeval forest 150 years ago. 

The Mission received another valuable present in a superbly 
bound and illustrated copy of the Scriptures in three folio vol- 
umes, from the lie v. Dr. Ayscough, chaplain to the Prince of 
Wales, liev. Mr. Stingerland, when in Stock bridge a few 
years since, from Wisconsin, told me that these volumes have 
been preserved by the Indians through all their migrations, and 
are still kept and guarded like the terraphim of the Orientals. 

In 1737, Mr. Woodbridge, the teacher, having married, built 
a house where Mr. Samuel Goodrich now lives, and Sergeant 
became a boarder with him. In August of that year he 
preached the first sermon to his hearers in their own language, 
though he still retained his interpreter to perfect himself there- 
in, and his persistence was rewarded long before his death; his 
proficiency being such that his parishoners were accustomed to 
say that he knew ;md spoke their language better than them- 

Sergeant, having so successfully kindled the missionary tire on 
the Ilousatonic, was desirous of scattering its sparks to the forest 
dwellers elsewhere. At Kanaumeek (now New Lebanon, N. 
Y.) quite a number of Indian families resided. Thither he 
went and preached with the result that the Chief and his 
(laughter came to Stockbridge to hear and at length to be bap- 
tized; and soon after another prominent man among them re- 
moved hither, and, with his two children, received the same 
orninance. Overtures for the introduction of Christianity were 
also made to the Shawnees and the Delawares farther south, 
whose dialect was similar. The former tribe declined the 
proffer; but the Delawares opened their wigwams and their 
hearts to the boon, and the devoted b>rainard, having first 
learned the tongue of Sergeant, and practiced at Kanaumeek, 
went to dispel their darkness with the joy of the morning. 

240 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

The Foreign Society, whoso aid has been mentioned, in 1738 
gave the Mission .£300, a portion of which was applied to the 
purchase of agricultural implements for the Indians. In June 
of the same year, Sergeant celebrated his lirst sacrament with 
his infant church, and comments on the behavior of his com- 
municants as greatly devotional and interesting. They num- 
bered fourteen, and about fifty had received baptism. 

In 1741, Sergeant planned an enterprise looking toward en- 
larged usefulness which became a reality six years later under 
the following circumstances. Rev. Isaac Ilollis of London, — a 
nephew of the generous benefactor of Harvard College, of the 
same name, — had proposed to educate twelve Indian boys be- 
tween the ages of twelve and twenty, at £25 per annum from 
his own purse. These Sergeant had received and taught for a 
year in his newly built house— (still standing as "Edwards 
Hall,") — but found the labor too great, superadded to the other 
duties of the Mission. They were, therefore, sent to Newing- 
ton, Conn., to be boarded and taught by a Capt. Kellogg, and 
remained a year, making good progress. This suggested to 
him the idea of a regular boarding school, wherein, with their 
other studies, agriculture and some of the mechanical trades 
should be unitedly taught. The beneficiaries were to be boys 
at lirst, and, if successful, the same advantages were to be ex- 
tended to girls also. In short, it was to be a wedded Fellen- 
burg and Mt. Ilolyoke. The idea took among the wealthy 
and charitable on both sides of the Atlantic, and was soon 
pushed to a realization. Six trustees, citizens of the Connecti- 
cut River valley, were appointed, among whom was Jona. Ed- 
wards, then of Northampton. The six white families in Stock- 
bridge contributed a Thanksgiving day olfering of £115-10. 
Among the subscribers abroad were Rev. Dr. Watts, the 
hymnologist, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cumberland, 
the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Dorset and Lord Cower; 
while Mr. Ilollis promised to support twelve more boys, as his 
portion of the benefaction. 

A farm of 200 acres was set apart from the unappropriated 
land of the Indians and a suitable building erected on the 
premises and a little south of the present residence of Mr. Lu- 

The Indian Mission in /Stockbridye. 241 

cius Tuckerman. It was 3Gx38 feet, with couimodioiifi rooms 
and a good collar. The twelve boys at Ncwington were 
brought hither with their teacher and the school was outset 
with many hopes. Sergeant had planned to go, the next sum- 
mer, and publish its advantages to the Six Nations in Contra] 
No ,\ York — a project foreclosed by his untimely death. The 
same proposal made to the Mohawks on tlte Hudson, induced 
some ninety of the tribe to come to Stockbridge, among them 
the famous chief Hendrick, afterwards killed at Lake George, 
in the same battle with, and while aiding Col. Williams, the 
founder of Williams College. The Indians oifered land to 
Other tribes who would come and settle among them, and, be- 
sides the Mohawks, several of the Oueidas and Tuscaroras ac- 
cepted. In 1750, sixty scholars were enrolled. 

The Hoarding-school experiment had not ripened far enough 
to warrant the contemplated supplement for girls, when on the 
27th of July, 174D, it received a terrible back-set in the death 
of Sergeant at the early age of thirty-nine. Yet, "if that life 
is long which answers life's great end," that devoted man lived 
beyond the human allotment of " three-score years and ten.'' 
lie seems to have been raised up and qualified for the specific 
work to which he had consecrated his whole being, and in 
which he died with his harness on. At his decease the status 
of the Mission, as nearly as 1 can ascertain, was this; — The 
number of Indians in his charge was 218, comprised in 53 fam- 
ilies; the church contained 4-2 native communicants; 1S2 had 
been baptized, of whom 12'J were still living. Twenty of the 
5o families lived in frame houses, and more than that number 
cultivated, to a greater or less extent, productive farms. 
u These," says an English visitor of the time, "are well fenced 
and measureably stocked, and many of the owners diligent and 
industrious in business." Even in the earlier days of the Mis- 
sion, a correspondent of a Boston newspaper writes of his 
pleasure at finding the Indians so improved; at hearing the 
young women read their Bibles so fluently and at seeing good 
specimens of their chirography and needle-work. The educa- 
tion imparted in the school was the same as that taught the 
whites in the common schools of the day, and Sergeant writes 

242 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

to a friend, in 1747: "The Indian youth learn English well; 

must of them understand a good deal of it, and some speak it 
freely and correctly." As further proof of their proficiency., J 
have myself seen deeds of lands to the whites bearing signa- 
tures — even of squaws — in fair and regular penmanship, Jt 
seemed to me no mean acquirement to be able to set down or- 
thographically the uncouth and multitudinous syllables that 
registered their names. 

A paragraph as to Sergeant's ministerial labors. His brief 
journal — almost the only written memorial we have of him — 
gives this program : for Sunday services, a short prayer, a por- 
tion of scripture with running comentary; then longer prayer, 
all in both Indian and English; singing, of which the natives 
were fond and in which they excelled; two sermons in each 
language, except the ommission of one to the English during 
the winter. In the warmer season he held what would now be 
termed a Sunday school with the Indians, explaining Biblical 
history and doctrine. His discourses for them were lirst writ- 
ten in English and then translated into their vernacular. 

The sceptical in Indian — not, directed philanthropy may ask, 
how much real reformation did the Mission effect in the morals 
of the llousatonics 'i This question may better be answered by 
fact than by assertion, and 1 select one of several, bearing on 
the matter, in reply. I have mentioned the fondness of the 
Indians for intoxicants and the opposition of Dutch traders in 
the vicinity to the establishment of the Mission. Their antag- 
onism did not cease after that became a fact. But the town- 
ship belonged to the Indians, and their authorities, in 1748, 
imposed aline of £40 York money, upon any who should bring 
rum into Stockbridge for sale. It was met by a storm of wrath 
from over the border and the traders spared neither abuse Hol- 
lies to convince the Indians that the missionaries had made 
dogs and slaves of them in restraining their freedom of action 
and appetite. New Year's was at hand — a time of former dissi- 
pation, and Sergeant, fearing that the temptation would prove 
too strong for their newly adopted principles, became anxious 
and almost desponding. On the last Sunday of the year he 
announced a religious service at their church on New Year's 

The Indian Mission in Stochhridge. 


day, hoping to mitigate the extent of the impending evil. The 
result was, that though abundance of whiskey was smuggled 
into the neighborhood, the red men were all in their places at 
the service and steadfast in their integrity. 

Of the Stockbridgo of to-day could such a record be written I 

I have thus far traced the Mission from its benevolent incep- 
tion through its early trials and successful progress to the top 
of the main-spring of its enginery. It w T as, however, still con- 
tinued ; for a motive stronger than human selfishness underlaid 
it. But no successor was competent entirely to fill Sergeant's 
place, lie had organized the machinery and set it in motion; 
it now remained for others to supply the motive power, which 
was done with unquestionable benefit for nearly forty years 
longer. Of this period I shall not be particular to recite de- 
tails, which indeed, are scant in the writings of both Edwards 
and West who followed, but hasten to finish a recital perhaps 
already too protracted. 

Jona. Edwards, then recently dismissed from Northampton, 
was called to the mixed pastorate and the superintendency of 
the Mission in 1750, and remained eight years. Two facts 
must have derogated from the highest efficiency in its manage- 
ment under the new incumbent. Firstly, he was unacquainted 
with the Indian language, and, though he made it the subject 
of a learned treatise, never acquired it so as to use it in his 
ministry. And, again, President Edwards was a theologian 
and metaphycian, whose mind, so abstract from temporalities 
as never to be able to tell the number of his cows, was too un- 
practical to grasp and manage the necessary details of such a 
work. Still he conscientiously did his best, serving his English 
parishioners, and, through an interpreter, his Indian congrega- 
tion as his predecessor had done. The school was continued 
with — for a season — undiminished numbers, but doubtless with 
less of enthusiasm than while the soul of Sergeant superin- 
tended and inspired its progress. The war with France too, of 
which the Colonies bore so costly a share, seriously demoralized 
this work of benevolence, involving, as it did, the Mohawks 
and Oneidas from whom a portion of the pupils were drawn. 

244 BerlcsJiire Historical and Scientific Society. 

But historical justice obliges me to say, that, aside from the 
war, if l > resident Edwards' qualifications lor lias new post had 
excelled even those of his predecessor, there were influences in 
active operation during a large portion of his ministry, which, 
except for their ultimate thwarting, would have mined the 
Mission, though conducted by an angel. These I will briefly 

Among the most persistent agents in unsettling the President 
at Northampton w r as the Williams family. That family was 
represented at Stockbridge by Col. Ephraim Williams, the 
most conspicuous of the first English settlers there. He was 
a man of large business capacity, ambitious of distinction, in- 
fluential, for those times wealthy, avaricious and grasping. 
With his Northampton kindred he had imbibed a prejudice 
against Mr. Edwards, and when the Indian Commissioner pro- 
posed to make the latter Mr. Sergeant's successor, he was pro- 
nounced in his opposition to the measure. When, however, 
the proposal became a reality, he smothered his dislike and 
overtly acquiesced. Owing to his position, Col. Williams had 
been entrusted with various Indian .affairs of which his manage- 
ment had been so questionable and self-aggrandizing as to for- 
feit the respect and confidence of the Indians and bring him 
into direct conflict with the teachers, Mr. "Wood ridge and Mr. 
Uawley, who stood in their defense. Col. Williams schemed 
and plotted until, ultimately, he succeeded in ousting Mr. Uaw- 
ley from his position. 

Having been appointed resident Commissioner of the Indian 
Hoard of the province, he was made agent of the benefactions 
of Mr. llollis and other patrons, of which the Larger portion 
was traceable to his own pocket, he keeping no record and 
rendering no account of them save a verbal one, for several 
years, meanwhile enlarging his own possessions. 

When the; project of the Union Boarding School for the 
Mousatonics, Mohawks and Oncidas, was broached. Col. Wil- 
liams conceived the idea of making the whole scheme inure to 
the interest of himself and family. A nephew of his had be- 
come a member of the Board of Commissioners, -au^} the com- 
bined influence of uncle and nephew had procured the condi- 

The Indian Mission in Sfockbridge. 245 

tional nomination of another of the family as teacher of the 
projected Female School. One of the Trustees of the Indian 
establishment was about to marry this proposed teacher, re- 
move to Stbekbridge and assume control of the whole Mission 
concern. In modern parlance, it was a "ring," with the Wil- 
liams family as center and circumference. 

Certain of the success of his scheme, Col. Williams took on 
arrogant airs, renewed his quarrel with Mr. Woodbridge, went 
into the hoarding school of Mr. Hawley, who had charge of the 
Oneida and Mohawk pupils, and, usurping its direction, con- 
ducted himself in such a manner as to disgust the Oneida 
parents, who removed their childran and returned to New 

Mr. Edwards, desirous of keeping the peace and avoiding all 
dissensions among his people, had hitherto borne the wrong 
in silence. JBut rumors of the troubles had reached the Central 
Board, and he was called on to give a statement of the facts 
there anerit. Thus summoned, and knowing it to be the crisis 
of the Mission, his conscience would permit him to do nothing 
but disclose the whole truth. The sequel was the complete 
subversion of all Col. Williams' schemes; the restoration of 
things in accordance with Mr. Edwards' recommendation and 
the removal shortly after, of the Williams family from Stock- 
bridge. But the mischief had been done, and so far as the 
Boarding School was concerned, was irreparable. The Oneida 
pupils had gone and refused to return; the Mohawks lingered 
a little longer and then left also. Mr. Hawley followed them 
and renewed his labors on the New York Reservation with 
happy results, until the outbreak of the Revolutionary war. 

Rev. Dr. West succeeded President Edwards after the call 
of the latter to Princeton, N. J., as minister to the English 
and Indians, until 1775. He then surrendered his Mission 
charge to John Sergeant — a worthy sun of his apostolic sire 
and an inheritor of his spirit. He taught and ministered to 
the Indians henceforward, removed with them to Central New 
York, and when, subsequently, they took their farther Avay 
toward the setting sun, his son, of kindred m»u1, linked his 
destiny with theirs and bore them company. 

Berkshire Book. 

P> ^l P E H S 

istorieal and Scientific Society. 





■I \ 



216 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

The Indians left Stoekbridge as a body in 1785-0, carrying 
with them their organized church, their school and their civili- 
zation, which they reproduced on territory granted them by the 
Oneidas, naming it New Stoekbridge. The probable causes 
occasioning this removal I endeavored to set forth in a paper 
read before this Society some time ago, entitled "Indian Land 
Grants in Stoekbridge," and need not here repeat. 

In closing, it is but justice to the Indians to mention that a 
full company of them fought through the Revolutionary war, 
of whom several fell in battle, or otherwise died in the service ; 
and to the Mission to remark, that some of its pupils were 
graduated at Dartmouth College, and still more were elected to 
town offices, from Field-driver to Selectman. Here, also, Henry 
Aupanmut, the famous historian of his tribe, received his edu- 
cation and left a long and interesting story of the traditions and 
wanderings of his people. And to this day the remnant of 
them in Shawnee Co., Wisconsin, preserve and practice the 
habits of civilized life which their ancestors acquired in the 
Housatonic Valley. 

The direct personal effect of any great moral enterprise may 
perish with the recipients of its benefits, — the example never. 
Like the sun, it embraces the earth in its influence and gathers 
vigor from accumulated antecedents. Not all its results may 
be apparent in this life; but it comports with the eternal fitness 
of things, as well as with divine Revelation, that good deeds, 
even though they be not sounded by the trumpet of earthly 
fame, shall, in the hereafter beyond us, not go unrecognized or 


The national and local interest excited by the splendid celebration at Ben- 
nington on the 19th instant of the completion of the Battle Monument there, 
and also of the centennial of the admission of Vermont into the Union, a 
logical consequence of that successful battle, makes opportune and import- 
ant the ample discussion in one of the following papers on the part that 
Massachusetts played in that battle. In the celebration just referred to, full 
justice was done by all the speakers to the aid received in the battle from 
the southern and sister State ; but the facts and the proof of them, so far as 
Massachusetts is concerned, were never before brought out fully to the light 
of day. 

The great loss of our Society in the death of E. W. B. Canning, of Stock- 
bridge, will come again to the minds of our readers as they peruse one more 
of his papers in the following pages. Pleasure mingles with pain in the an- 
nouncement, that another important paper of his on " Indian Land Grants 
in Stockbridge," is still in the possession of the Society, and will, doubtless, 
serve to enrich one of its future publications. 

The other papers in the present number will all speak for themselves. 
They are believed to be not inferior in interest and importance to those that 
have preceded them. 

In the late auturm the Society will offer to the public a bound volume, 
under the title " Berkshire Book," containing all the papers hitherto pub- 

A. l. p. 

Williams College. August 27, 1891. 


By Arthur Latham Perry, 



The topic of my paper is Berkshire at Bennington. There 
seem to be two points in this topic, — Berkshire County and 
Bennington Battle, and I take it I shall be expected to say 
something about each of these, and thus to bring both of them 
into relations with each other. And first, Berkshire County. 
This became a separate county, by act of the general court of 
the Province of Massachusetts Bay, on the 1st of July, 1761, 
in the first year of the reign of His Majesty, George the Third. 
It had previously been reckoned a part of the old County of 
Hampshire, which, twice dismembered, still remains an hon- 
ored metropolis, flanked on the south by Hampden, and on the 
north by Franklin, both her own till 1812, and a*ll three for- 
ever protected on the west by the rugged hills and defensive 
valleys of Berkshire. When Hampden parted with Berkshire, it 
parted indeed with but little of civilization within the limits of 
the new county, but it parted with a fine strip of physical country 
of 950 square miles, almost one-eighth of the area of Massachu- 
setts. With the exception of the meadows in the Connecticut 
valley, the best land in Massachusetts is in Berkshire county. 
I do not fear any contradiction when I say that Berkshire is 
the best agricultural county in the state. I have recently been 
over some of the best farming lands in Worcester county, lands 
owned by my ancestors for several generations, and still in the 
hands of their descendants, and I do not hesitate to say that, 
equal culture being given, the slate and limestone uplands of 
this county, to say nothing of the alluvial lands on the Hoosac 
and Housatonic and their tributaries, are at least as productive 
as those. There is indeed much hilly and some swampy land 
in the county, but there is very little, if any, land that will not 
grow trees, and forest trees, in their due proportion, are as 
profitable a crop as can be grown. This is not the place to 
enlarge on the natural beauty of our mountains, hills and val- 
leys; for why should Berkshire people continue to insist on 

^248 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

what even strangers are prompt enough to acknowledge, and 
never grow weary of praising? 

I said Hampshire parted with bat little of civilization 
when Berkshire became a County. In fact there were then 
but four incorporated towns within it, viz: , Sheffield, Stock- 
bridge, New Marlborough and Egremont; and only six other 
settlements, namely: Pittsfield, Lanesborough, AVilliamstown, 
Tyringham, Sandisfield and Becket. It was a day of small 
things in this county; and yet, nearly two years before, there 
had happened an event, on the banks of the St. Lawrence river 
in Canada, that was full of hope and assurance for the feeble 
settlements in Berkshire. That was "Wolfe's battle with Mont- 
calm, on the plains of Abraham above Quebec, on the 13th of 
September, 1759. That was one of the most decisive and im- 
portant battles of the world. That battle settled the question 
of French, dominion on this continent. That battle, fought 
far off in thp wilds of the north, closed up, as by a stroke, the 
old French and Indian war-paths, that led to the valleys of the 
Hoosac, the Deerfield, and the Connecticut. The French and 
the Indian, in the French alliance, had been a constant menace 
for a century to the expansion of the English settlements. 
They had burned Schenectady in 1690, desolated Deerfield in 
1704, destroyed Fort Massachusetts in 1746 and carried its 
brave defenders into captivity to Quebec, and in 1755 killed 
Col. Ephraim Williams and some 300 Americans more in a 
bloody skirmish and a still bloodier battle at the southern ex- 
tremity of Lake George. 

When peace was made between England and France, four 
years after the Battle of Quebec, England was enormously 
strengthened by it ; so much so, that George the Third declared, 
"England never signed such a Peace before, nor I believe any 
other power in Europe." I have been struck with the evidences, 
which multiply on every hand, that the settlements in Berkshire 
county were immediately strengthened by the issue of Wolfe's 
battle on the heights of Abraham. The settlers understood the 
significance of that fight, and discounted, three years before it was 
signed, a Peace, whose conditions were yet to be wrangled over 
in every court in Europe. Berkshire not only began to fill up 

Berkshire at Bennington. 249 

with fresh immigrants from Hampshire and from Connecticut, 
but the new County itself was carved out and established in 
July, 1761, while the Duke of Bedford and the French minis- 
ter did not sign the Peace till' February, 1763. Between 
Wolfe's battle and the Peace of Paris, Great Barrington, Pitts- 
field, Egremont, Sandisfield, Tyringham, and the County itself, 
were incorporated. They called their new county " Berkshire," 
undoubtedly from the English county of the same name, just 
at the boundary of which lies the famous meadow of Punny- 
niede, on which gathered the nobility of England to extort 
Magna Charter from King John in 1215. Some years ago I 
made a pilgrimage to Punnymede on foot, not knowing then 
that it lay on the limits of Berkshire; falling into company and 
conversation with a native on the road from Windsor Castle, 
which is in Berkshire, and discovering in him some antipathy 
to Buckinghamshire, just across the Thames at that point, 1 
asked, "In what county are we now?" "This is Berkshire." 
"Indeed," said I, "why I am from Berkshire County, Massa- 
chusetts, United States, North America." He eyed me a mo- 
ment, as if to be sure of my sincerity, and pointing to a large 
manor house, in plain sight, said he, "you go there, and tell 
them you are from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and they 
will give you some of the best ale ever brewed in England!" 
I refer to this incident simply to show that the compliment 
conferred in the naming of our county, is well appreciated in 
England, at least along the Thames, near Punnymede. 

But while the French wars delayed the settlement and men- 
aced the prosperity of the Berkshire towns, they yet contrib- 
uted in a wonderful way to the training of the people, who 
were here prepared for their after experiences in the Revolu- 
tion ; and also to a wider knowledge on the part of soldiers, and 
others, of fine lands and possible homes within the county. 
The county itself exerted a fascination, as it still does, over 
strangers, over the soldiers who passed through it on their way 
to Crown Point or Fort Edward ; and when the French wars 
were over, many of these men came back to settle, and to stay. 
This was particularly true of the men stationed for a longer or 
shorter time at Fort Massachusetts on the Harrison meadow in 

250 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

North Adams; and at the West Iloosuck Fort on our square 
in Williamstown. Almost every one of our earliest settlers 
was a soldier in the French wars; as almost every one of our 
later settlers became a soldier in the Revolutionary war. I 
have recently found in the state archives in Boston, the petition 
of one John Perry, who was a soldier in Fort Massachusetts 
when it was captured, Aug. 20, 1746, and who, with his wife, 
was carried a prisoner to Canada, where they remained with 
other prisoners taken at the Fort, for twelve months, — a petition 
to the General Court for a grant of land near the Fort, where 
it seems he had already fenced in a farm and built a house 
before the Fort was taken. He evidently appreciated the 
Iloosac valley, and as I believe was the first white settler in 
that valley within the limits of Massachusetts. Let me quote 
the essential parts of his petition, which is in his own hand- 
writing, and is evidently his own composition, " Whereas your 
Honour's humble petitioner, enlisted in the service of the coun- 
try, under the command of Capt. Ephraim Williams, in the 
year 1745, and was posted at Fort Massachusetts, in Iloosuck, 
and upon ye encouragement we had from ye late Col. John 
Stoddard, which was, that if we went with our families, he did 
not doubt but that ye court would grant us land to settle on, 
whereupon, I your Honour's humble petitioner, carried up my 
family there with my household stuff and other effects, and 
continued there till we was taken, when we was obliged to sur- 
render to the French and Indian enemy, Aug. the 20, 1 746, I 
would humbly lay before your Honours the losses I sustained 
then, which are as followeth : A house, which I built there for 
my family, 80 pounds ; Two feather beds with their furniture, 
100 pounds; Two suits of apparel apiece for me and my wife, 
150 pounds; Two brass kettles, a pot and pewter with trammel 
tongs and fire slice, and knives and forks to ye balance of 20 
pounds; One cross cut saw, 20 pounds; and One new broad ax, 
6 pounds; Three new narrow axes, 8 pounds; Two steel traps, 
14 pounds; Two guns, 32 pounds; One pistol, 5 pounds; One 
100 weight of suggar, 20 pounds; Total, 457 pounds, with a 
great many other things not named ; the losses your humble 
petitioner hath met with, together with my captivity, hath re- 

Berkshire at Bennington. 251 

dnced me to low circumstances, and now humbly prayeth your 
Honours of your goodness to grant liim a grant of land to settle 
upon near ye fort, where I fenced, which was about a mile 
west of the fort, or elsewhere, where your Honours pleaseth, 
and that your Honours may have a full reward hereafter for 
all your pious and charitable deeds, your Honours humble peti- 
tioner shall always pray. John Perry." 

This petition is dated Nov. 5, 1747, less than three months 
after the return of the captives. The General Court took no 
action on this petition, perhaps because they thought best to 
wait and settle with all that were taken captive, at once ; which 
they did a little more than a year afterwards ; paying each man 
his full wages for the time he was in captivity, and granting 
each a gun out of the "Province store." Perhaps, too, they 
thought that, as Perry was a " squatter," without legal title to 
the land he had fenced in, they were under no obligatioil to re- 
imburse him for the loss of his household stuff. If any of 
Perry's estimates on the items of his property seem to us to be 
excessive in amount, we must remember that prices were then 
reckoned in lawful money, that is, in colonial bills made legal 
tender ; and that in the very year in which these soldiers were 
paid off in paper money, Massachusetts redeemed at eleven for 
one her outstanding colony bills in the silver she received from 
England, as her share of the ransom money for the capture of 
Louisburg in 1745. The fact remains that John Perry, as early 
as 174G, built a house and stocked it, in the Hoosac valley, just 
on the boundary of North Adams and Williamstown; that the 
French and Indians sacked his house and carried off his tools 
in August of that year; that he liked the locality ; and that 
after a year's captivity in Quebec, he was drawn in heart to- 
wards the scene of his losses, and wanted this time a better title 
for his land than "ye encouragement we had from ye late Col. 
John Stoddard." 

There is no evidence that John Perry ever retured to the 
Hoosac valley ; the General Court at any rate granted him no 
land there, and gave but a cool reception to his warm petition. 
There was a John Perry among the earliest settlers of Egre- 
mont, whom I strongly suspect to be the same man; and it is 

352 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

almost certain that lie wrought as a carpenter with Michael 
Gilson, and other old soldiers of Fort Massachusetts, on the 
fort on the Putney meadows above Brattleboro, which was 
nearly a copy of the second fort Massachusetts built in 1747. 
John Perry's wife, Rebecca, died in her captivity at Quebec; 
but there is reason for believing that he took a new spouse 
after his return; and we will hope, at any rate, that he came to 
the enjoyment in his new home, wherever it was, of "two suits 
of apparel apiece for me and my wife," "two feather beds with 
their furniture," "one 100 pounds of sugar," and the "two 
brass kettles," and the " pewter," with the " tramel tongs and 
lire-slice," and "knives and forks," with the " cross-cut saw," 
and all the edged tools of which he was so ruthlessly robbed 
by Monsieur Vaudreuil and his Indians. 

In further illustration of the way in which the soldiers in the 
Erench wars became interested in Berkshire, and learned by 
actual service against the French to defend it afterwards 
against the British themselves, as well as for an ulterior pur- 
pose in connection with the Battle of Bennington, 1 wish to 
speak of another young soldier of Fort Massachusetts, who was 
taken captive at the same time John Perry was, but who lived 
to play a more conspicuous part in the after times than any 
other of the captives ; than even John Norton, the chaplain, or 
John Hawks, the sergeant commanding. This was Benjamin 
Simonds. Simonds' father, Joseph Simonds, cordwainer, was 
one of the first settlers at Ware River, now Ware. He was a 
member of the first "Precinct" committee there in 1733, long- 
before the town was incorporated, was often moderator of the 
Precinct meetings, and was evidently a man of some ability 
and public spirit. How long his son, Benjamiu, had been in 
Fort Massachusetts, when it was captured, I do not know; I 
know that he was then just turned of 20 ; I know that he en- 
tered the service from Ware River ; I know from Sergeant 
Hawks' return of his men, that Simonds was "left in ye hospi- 
tal sick," when the survivors of the captivity returned to their 
homes, but the same document says of him, " since returned 
but can't say the time;" I know that his father, "for and in 
consideration of love, good will, and affection, which I have 

Berkshire at Bennington. 253 

and do bear toward my son, Benjamin Simonds of said Ware 
River," granted liim "a tract of land in Ware River of 71 
acres and 30 rods," in the spring after his return from Quebec. 
But I also know that the heart of the boy, notwithstanding 
that lie had now a farm of his own on Muddy Brook in Ware, 
was yet strongly drawn towards the valley in which he had 
seen some 800 French and Indians beleaguer a weak fort, whose 
defenders were only 22 men, near half of whom were sick, in 
which 30 or 40 of that beleaguering host were killed, or received 
mortal wounds, by men short of ammunition and hopeless of 
ultimate relief, a valley in which he afterwards became an early 
settler, a large land holder, a prominent citizen, a revolutionary 
patriot, a military officer of approved skill and courage, holding 
his commission as colonel during almost the entire war, by the 
vote of the officers of his own regiment, — a valley in which his 
bones still moulder beside those of his children and descendants 
to the fifth generation. 

What was thus true of him in connection with the French 
wars, was true of scores of others in the whole length of the 
County. I speak now of the north, partly because I am better 
acquainted with it, but mainly because far less has been known 
and written concerning it. The south was settled earliest, the 
center and the north just about the same time. Sheffield is 
just 25 years older than Williamstown, Barrington and Egre- 
mont are 20 years older, Stockbrikge is 15 years older, Tyring- 
ham, New Marlborough and Alford are each just about ]0 
years older, while Lenox, Pittsfield and Williamstown ma}' be 
regarded as coeval, assuming 1750 as a fair date for each 
which was the time when the Williamstown house-lots were 
laid out and drawn by individual owners. All the rest of the 
towns in the county are later, Lanesborough following next 
after these three. I do not find, in Smith's History of Pitts- 
held, the birth date of the first child born in that town.. 
Rachel Simonds was born in Williamstown, April 8, 1753. 
Her father was one of the original drawers of the house-lots 
three years before, drawing No. 22, now a part of the farm of 
Keyes Danforth, Esq., and a large number of other lots were 
drawn by the officers and soldiers of Fort Massachusetts. En- 

254 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

listed men from Connecticut traversed the county its entire 
length during the French wars, and afterward settled in every 
part of it; and I am inclined to think that more Connecticut 
people than Massachusetts people found homes in the county 
in the last half of the century. There were some very able 
and experienced men in all parts of the county, particularly in 
the south and center, when the Peace of Paris was signed in 
1703. Theodore Sedgwick did not commence the practice of 
law in Sheffield till three years later; but John Fellows, after- 
wards brio-adier-^eneral of the militia of Massachusetts in the 
Revolutionary war, and John Ashley, afterwards major-general 
of militia, were then active citizens of that town. In Stock- 
bridge, among others, were Samuel Brown, father and son, both 
original proprietors of house-lots in "William stown, and the son 
distinguished for enterprise both military and civic. In Bar- 
rington at that date, were Mark Hopkins,, lawyer and after- 
wards colonel, who gave his life to his country at White Plains 
in 177G, a battle in which fought also Col. Simonds and North 
Berkshire militia; and General Joseph Dwight, previously of 
Brookfield, very influential in the settlement of the County, on 
whose dignified manners and splendid personal appearance, 
tradition even yet loves to linger, though he died in 1765. 

In Sandistield there was David Brown, father of Col. John 
Brown, who afterwards greatly distinguished himself as a 
citizen of Pittsfield. In Pittsfield itself, the Rev. Thomas 
Allen, the most picturesque figure in the history of that town, 
and also in the Battle of Bennington, did not settle in Pittsfield 
till about a year after the signature of the Peace of Paris; but 
Col. Wi-Uiam Williams was there, who had already distinguished 
himself in the capture of Louisburg, and in subsequent cam- 
paigns against the French on the northern frontier; and Oliver 
Root, who had been a ranger round Lake Champlain with John 
Stark and Israel Putnam, and who afterwards was a colonel in 
the Revolutionary war, had just then become a citizen of Pitts- 
field. Prominent among the few settlers of Williamstown in 
1703 were Benjamin Simonds and JSTehemiah Smedley, both 
soldiers in the French wars then closed, both officers afterwards 
in the Battle of Bennington, and both, — though this hardly 

Berkshire at Bennington. 255 

added to their credit while they lived, — great-great-grandfathers 

of my children! 

Arid now let us notice that the marvellous success of the 
English in conquering the American colonial possessions of the 
French, became in turn the ground of the loss by the English 
of their own American colonial possessions. The French, 
robbed as they conceived of their own, were prompt to encour- 
age and did actually encourage in the next decade, the discon- 
tented English colonists to assert their independence; and this 
very discontent ' itself, which was the cause of the American 
Revolution, was brought on \>y the measures taken in the Brit- 
ish ministry in consequence of the conquest of the New France. 
They had now a vast continent to govern ; their ambition was 
inflamed by the prospect of a trans- Atlantic empire; troops 
must be kept here; civil government must be carved out on a 
large scale; new taxes must be imposed to meet the new ex- 
penses ; the abominable navigation act, equally a curse in Europe 
and America, equally false in principle and pernicious in action 
everywhere, must be rigidly enforced. "American independ- 
ence," says Bancroft, "like the great rivers of the country, 
had many sources; but the head spring, which colored all the 
stream, was the navigation act." Parliament had repealed the 
stamp taxes in February, 1.7t)6, on the united remonstrances of 
the colonies, as a matter of expediency to Great Britain; but 
the Declaratory act, that accompanied the repeal, established it 
as the law of the empire, that the legislative power of parlia- 
ment reached to the colonies in all cases whatsoever. The next 
year Charles Townshend, England's evil genius, carried a par- 
liamentary tax to be collected in America on Tea, Glass, Paper 
and Painters' Colors, introduced by a Preamble, "that it is ex- 
pedient that a revenue should be raised in his majesty's domin- 
ions in America," The Declaratory act asserted the power of 
Parliament in all cases whatsoever; Townshend's Preamble, 
which was never repealed, asserted the expediency of using that 
power to raise a colonial revenue. It was not therefore a 
definite and particular grievance, a three-penny tax on a pound 
of tea, the grievance was indefinite and unlimited, one striking 
at the vitals of free government, at the fundamental principles 

256 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

of a representative constitution, one taking the power of the 
purse and control of public officers completely out of the hands 
of the people, that caused the American Revolution. 

From this moment an attitude of resistance was taken by a 
small but influential part of the American people towards the 
British King and Parliament; and this became an actual and 
armed resistance, shared in by larger numbers, and gradually 
by a majority of the whole people, after the affairs of Lexing- 
ton and Concord, and the taking of Ticonderoga by Ethan Al- 
len and his men, in the spring of 1775. There were at least 
39 men from Hancock and Williamstown with Ethan Allen, in 
that first overt act of hostility to Great Britain. 

Now we turn to Burgoyne's campaign of 1777. The only 
strategic and meritorious plan adopted by England during the 
whole war to subdue the colonies, was that developed in this 
campaign of 1777. That, indeed, was soldier-like, and it 
almost won the promised success. It was to cut off the 
New England colonies, the head and front of the rebellion, 
from the middle and southern colonies, by bringing an army 
down from Canada, where all the people, though mainly 
French, were strangely loyal to Great Britain; and at the 
same time to bring a fleet and army up the North Eiver from 
New York which was in British hands, and unite the two at 
Albany, thus cutting the colonies completely asunder by an 
easily defended water line, stretching from Lake Champlain to 
New York city. Sir William Howe, who seems to have sketched 
this really brilliant plan himself, not being on good terms with 
the minister at home, and not getting therefore all the troops 
he wanted for the purpose, afterwards partially abandoned it, 
leaving Burgoyne to come down from the North without sup- 
port from New York, and himself and his army going off to 
capture Philadelphia. Howe himself had been with Wolfe on 
the Plains of Abraham, without ever catching the magnetic 
spirit of that great commander; and his brother, Lord Howe, 
a great favorite in America, had been killed the year before 
that (1758) at Ticonderoga; but Sir William was an indolent 
man, somewhat fickle-minded and rather resented the rising 
popularity at home of his rival, General Burgoyne ; and so Bur- 

Berkshire at Bennington. 257 

goyne was left to cut his way leisurely, but hopefully, from 
the head of Lake Cham plain to the Hudson, on whose banks 
he had his headquarters, on the last day of July. 

Burgoyne's right wing, under St. Leger, had come down 
from Montreal by water to Oswego, on Lake Ontario, and 
passed over the carrying place to the upper waters of the 
Mohawk river. His route to Albany was down that river, 
as .Burgoyne's was down the Hudson, but there was a little 
fort, Fort Stanwix, that stood in his path, and a bloody 
struggle near that fort on the 6th of August between St. 
Leger's Indians and the Dutch settlers in the Mohaw r k val- 
ley under Herkimer, settled the question of his getting to Al- 
bany at all ; and a few days later, Benedict Arnold, with a 
detachment from the main American army then encamped at 
the mouth of the Mohawk, drove him out of the valley back to 
the lake. Burgoyne, however, did not know of the check St. 
Leger received on the 6th, and so on the 11th of August, thinking 
to aid St. Leger indirectly by a diversion on his own left, and 
wishing also to mount afresh his dragoons, whose horses had 
failed up on the march from Whitehall to the Battenkill, ex- 
pecting also to bring in draught cattle and provisions to his 
own camp, to arouse the Tories, of whom there were many in 
that direction, and lastly to destroy some continental stores at 
Bennington, sent out a party to the left of about 900 men all 
told, about one-third of them German mercenaries, about one- 
half of them Canadians and Tories and of the rest about 100 
British regulars, and 100 Indians. 

Burgoyne gave Col. Baum, their commander, verbal orders 
to march directly upon Bennington, and discretionary orders, 
then to cross the Green mountains to Brattleboro, and return 
through the Hoosac valley, so as to enter Albany with St. Leger 
and Burgoyne himself. Humors of this movement early 
reached the Vermont council of safety, a committee of twelve 
sitting at Bennington, in the Catamount Tavern ; and John 
Stark, who had come at their call, with a brigade from New 
Hampshire, and two Vermont regiments, partially recruited, 
were already on the ground. Seth Warner, too, was there in 
council, but Ins 150 Continental troops were at Manchester, 

258 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

some miles to the northward. During the night of the 13th of 
August, Wednesday night, Stark heard that a large body of troops, 
with artillery, preceded by Indians, were near Cambridge, and 
that they were advancing towards Bennington. He sent imme- 
diately for Warner's men, and to Berkshire to summon its 
militia. History is silent as to who the men were, (for a mes- 
sage of such importance would hardly be given to one only) 
who, in the early dawn of Thursday, from Stark's camp, gal- 
loped to the Berkshire towns. We may be sure that they were 
well mounted, and that they knew the road. We know that 
they did their errand, that they did it quickly. There is no 
doubt about their route till they reached Pownal Center ; 
whether they then turned half a mile to the eastward and strack 
the original road from Williamstown to Bennington, through 
the White Oaks, or came straight down Pownal Hill and 
through the Dug Way, we probably never shall know; it makes 
no matter. 

They reined up at any rate at the farm house of Benjamin 
Simonds, who himself was then in council at Bennington, as is 
shown by their records, and who lived just at the junction of the 
two roads, half a mile north of the village of Williamstown, on 
what has since been called the River-Bend Farm. He had 
been colonel of the North Berkshire regiment more than a year. 
He was 51 years old. What passed, I know not; who the 
orderlies were, I know not, except one, Tyler of South Wil- 
liamstown ; whether, as is probable, fresh messages were sent 
down the county from Williamstown, while Stark's couriers 
returned to his camp, I know not; but I do know that nearly 
all the Berkshire men who were in the Battle of Bennington 
were mustered in that day, the 14th of August ; so t\)p pay- 
rolls at Boston bear record to this day. They did it quickly 
and they did it well. I have recently searched the archives 
in the Secretary's office for these rolls, and have been reas- 
onably successful, but I have not yet found them all. The 
roll of the company and volunteers from North Williamstown, 
I have not yet been able to find, — it may possibly have been 
lost, but I shall search again until I find it, or know that it is 
not there. 

Berkshire at Bennirujton. 259 

That company was commanded that summer by Oapt. Nehe- 
miah Smedley. I hold in my hand the original pay-roll of 32 
non-commissioned officers and privates, who marched with him 
to Fort Edward, by order of Gen. Schuyler, and returned July 
24th, 1777, only 21 days before came the call to Bennington. 
This roll is sworn to by him before Isaac Stratton, town clerk 
of Williamstown, of whom we shall have more pretty soon. I 
know that Capt. Smedley was in the battle of Bennington, I 
know that bread was baked for two clays in the old oven in the 
cellar of the Smedley house, for the soldiers gone thither; for 
the late Dea. Levi Smedley, who was in his 15th year at the 
time, carried some of the bread on horseback to Bennington, 
and often related in the ears of men still living the household 
experiences of that time. I know that Capt. Jonathan Dan- 
forth of Williamstown, father of the late Col. Joshua Danforth 
of Pittslield, both of whom were in the battle of Bunker Hdl, 
was also in the battle of Bennington in some capacity; and the 
tradition in that family, and in other families, is still lively and 
clear, that all the able-bodied men, with scarcely an exception, 
went from North Williamstown to Bennington ; and I have a 
copy of a vote of the General Court of Massachusetts, reim- 
bursing to the town of Williamstown, as such, powder, balls, 
and Hints, expended from the town's stock in the battle of Ben- 

The town went and took the town's stock of ammunition 
along with them; and although I have not yet the roll of 
the names, as South Williamstown, according to the original 
pay-roll, of which I have a copy, sent 65 men, no one of whom, 
as near as I can tell, lived north of the old military line dividing 
the town. 1 shall assume that at least 80 men went from the 
more populous and propertied part of the town, which was 
under the immediate influence and inspiration of the colonel ^ 
himself. That would make 145 men and boys, — for boys of 
15 and 16 years shouldered their muskets in those days, — from 
Williamstown alone. The heading of the South Williamstown 
roll is as follows: — "A pay-roll of Capt. Samuel Clark's com- 
pany, in Col. B. Simonds' regiment of militia, County Berkshire, 
who were in the battle of Walloomsack, near Bennington, on 

260 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

16th of August, who marched by order of Col. Simonds, includ- 
ing time to return home, after they were dismissed from guard- 
ing provisions to Pittsfield, being 20 miles from home, Aug. 
14-21, 8 days." In this roll, besides the regular company 
officers and privates, are the names of volunteers from that part 
of the town serving as privates — Capt. Samuel Sloan, afterwards 
General Sloan, who built the' president's house in our village, 
Lieut. David Johnson, who went up the Kennebec river with 
Benedict Arnold the winter before, but returned in Command 
of 8 men, for want of provisions, and Lieut. Daniel Burbaiik, a 
farmer of South Williamstown, who said after the battle, when 
questioned how he felt while it was going on, — " After we had 
fired once, and they had iired once, I had just as lief be on the 
battle field as on the potato field." 

The New Ashford roll bears the names of Oapt. Amariah 
Babbitt and 19 men, sworn to before Jedidiah Iiubbell, chair- 
man of the committee of Lanesboro'. Lanesboro' itself sent a 
fine company of 46 men, under Capt. Daniel Brown. Like the 
rest they were mustered in on the 14th and were six days in 
service. Two of the lieutenants in this company were killed in 
the battle, Isaac Nash and Abel Prindle, and these names are 
very properly inscribed in the town records of Lanesboro' as those 
of patriots and martyrs. The General Court afterwards reim- 
bursed Lanesboro' in 160 pounds of powder, 580 pounds of 
lead, and 240 flints, for expending from their own stock in the 
Bennington battle. Nineteen from New Ashford, and 40 from 
Lanesboro', added to 145 from Williamstown, make so far 210 

Hancock, though there were many tories there, and some in 
Lanesboro', sent Capt. William Douglas with 26 men, whose 
names are on the pay-roll at Boston. If any deserted to the 
enemy their names would scarcely be recorded there. The 
same captain took the same company in less than a month after 
the battle, to Fawlet, Yt., 76 miles, just as a Lanesboro' com- 
pany, 42 men, under Capt. Asa Barnes, -had been to Manches- 
ter, Yt., 50 miles, less than a month before the battle. The 
truth is, General Schuyler called up to the northern frontier 
pretty much the whole Berkshire militia, in July, and then sent 

Berkshire at Bennington. 261 

most of them back home again; which makes their readiness to 
turn out again in August all the more admirable, and which 
makes entirely credible and natural the traditional story of 
Parson Allen's talk with Stark, at headquarters, on the (evening 
of tho 15th?) morning of the 16th. Hancock did well in the 
Revolutionary war, Richard Jackson, and Solomon Barnett, 
and old Martin Townsend to the contrary, notwithstanding. 
Capt. Samuel Low took 44 men from Cheshire to Bennington 
battle. The same captain and company had been doing duty 
from the last day of June to the 14th of August, when they 
were summoned to Bennington, at a place called Sancoik. on 
the Walloomsack, 18 miles from home. 

An independent company of volunteers from New Provi- 
dence, (i. e. Stafford's Hill in Cheshire), Lanesboro, East JIoo- 
suck, and (iageborough, (i. e. now Windsor), under Col. Joab 
Stafford of New Providence, rallied to the number of 41, on 
the 14th of August, and did their share in the battle of the 
16th. Col. Stafford was severely wounded in the foot at the 
Tory breastwork. Indeed it was this same Joab Stafford 
of New Providence, and Stephen Davis of Williamstown, 
who petitioned the General Court for reimbursement of 
powder, balls and flint expended from the town's stock; 
and there was voted to New Providence in response 40 lbs. of 
powder, 120 lbs. of lead, and 60 flints, and to East Hoosuck 50 
lbs. of powder, 150 lbs. of lead, and 72 flints, in addition to the 
respective amounts voted to Lanesboro and Williamstown. 
Besides these militia men from New Providence, Sipp Ives of 
that precinct was killed in the battle, from Col. Warner's con- 
tinental regiment. Isaac Cummings of Williamstown was in 
that regiment also at the time of the battle. There were at 
different times in Warner's continental regiment 18 men from 
Berkshire County. Stafford picked up some volunteers in the 
part of Adams nearest Cheshire, but Capt. Enos Parker's com- 
pany of Col. Simonds' regiment, 51 men, marched to Benning- 
ton August 14-19, as that roll says, 20 miles from home. The 
same captain and company, 37 men, went to Bennington again 
in September, the second roll calling it 30 miles from home. 

262 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

This was the regular company from East Hoosuck, or Adams 
as it used to be. 

Oapt. Stephen Smith's company, Col. Simonds' regiment, 
August 14-20, 7 days, 31 men. I am in a little doubt about 
these. I think they are Hancock men ; the rolls do not always 
state the name of the town. Hancock is 16 miles long, and if 
there were, as is likely, two military companies there, as in 
Williamstown, Capt. Douglas, with his 26 men, and Capt. 
Smith, with his 31 men, would not be an unreasonable contri- 
bution from Jericho, only a year before. baptized into the 
patriotic name of Hancock. In any case both companies 
belonged to Simonds' regiment, both were mustered in on the 
14th and both were in the battle. Before we pass out of this 
regiment, let us count \\\). We had 210 men before we came 
to Hancock, add 57, 267; add the Cheshire men, 44, 311 ; add 
Stail'ord's 41, 352; add. Parker's company, 51, 403 in Simonds' 
own regiment! Why Dr. Babbitt, in his centennial address 
last summer, was only willing to allow a beggarly 150 to Berk- 
shire altogether! And even good Gov. Hall thinks there could 
hardly have been more than 200 Berkshire men in the first 
battle! Brethren and friends, we are going now by the records! 
We are going by an actual count of the original pay-rolls! So 
far we have estimated one company only, and in my judgment 
have underestimated it, all the rest is contemporaneously writ- 
ten testimony, unmistakable figures, and irrefragable fact! 

Passing now down the county, we come to the men who mus- 
tered from Col. Brown's regiment, and Col. Ashley's, at the 
Bennington call. From Pittstield marched Lieut, William 
Ford, with 22 men, but there were individuals in that number 
who counted for ten in the fight that followed! I shall say 
nothing in this presence of Parson Allen, of his brother, the 
lieutenant, (second in command of the party), of Col. Easton, 
or Capt. Goodrich, or Capt. William Francis, except that it is 
remarkably characteristic of the Revolutionary time that one 
colonel and three captains served under a lieutenant in that 
little detachment, and Parson Allen was their chaplain! 1 have 
already said that the latter is the most picturesque figure in the 
whole movement on either side ; I do not mean the most influ- 

Berkshire at Bennington. 203 

ential spirit was among the Berkshire men. I hold that next 
to John Stark and Setli Warner the first plaee is due, and will 
he forever accorded, when the facts become known, to the Berk- 
shire colonel, whose messengers rallied all these companies in 
2-L hours, who was their own chosen leader from 1776' to 1780, 
who marched at their head and fought at their head, to whom, 
in the index of the muster rolls at Boston, there are 25 distinct 
references, and who had already been in the valley drained by 
the Walloomsac and the Hoosac more than 30 years, and who 
lived there an honored citizen for 30 years afterwards. 

From Richmond marched Oapt. Aaron Rowley, with 20 men, 
and with them Lieut.-Col. David Rossiter of Col. Brown's reg- 
iment. David Rossiter was no common man. He was among 
the early settlers of Richmond; as captain he had taken a com- 
pany of minute men to Cambridge, directly after the battle of 
Lexington ; he rose by regular gradations to be brigadier-gen- 
eral of militia; and he and Major Isaac Stratton of South Wil- 
liamstown are immortalized in connection with the battle of 
Bennington, by two lines of Parson Allen's hasty and imperfect, 
but most interesting sketch of that tight. lie says: "And 
being collected and directed by Col. Rossiter, and reinforced 
by Major Stratton, renewed the fight with redoubled fury." 
This passage shows that the Berkshire men fought together, 
and as one regiment. They fought together at the Tory breast- 
works in the first tight, and along the road to the westward in 
the second engagement, of which Parson Allen speaks in these 
words : "Even Stark was confused at the news of Breimanu's 
approach witli 650 fresh troops after he supposed the battle was 
all over" ; neither he nor Simonds appear to have been engaged 
in the second tight ; they left it to their juniors in years and 
rank, — Warner was 1G years younger than Stark, and Rossiter 
was 11 years younger than Simonds, and so the Lieut.-Colonel 
and the Major bore off the last honors for Berkshire! 

I have lately had an interesting letter from Mr. William Ba- 
con of Richmond, who remembers Gen. Rossiter, and gives me 
particulars concerning him. The buildings are still standing 
which he erected for his home, the orchards still bearing which 
he planted, but the farm has passed into the hands of the 


2(54 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

Shakers, and lie lias left no descendants of his own name. 
Enough for him! His name will never he forgotten! Rich- 
mond has declined from its earlier prosperity, but David Perry, 
the minister, and David Rossiter, the patriot soldier, will make 
that town reputable forever. With Rossiter's name will go 
down to posterity Major Stratton's! Allen mentions just the 
names, and in the right order! After more than a hundred 
years Fame accepts the parson's estimate! Stark, Warner, 
Simonds, Rossiter, Stratton ! 

As one crosses the bridge in the little village of South WiL 
liamstown, going south on the Ash ford road, in the chimney of 
the first house on the right, he may see a little marble tablet, 
and on it is inscribed this: "I. S., 1785." Isaac Stratton 
located in that spot in 1700; he built that house in 1769; he 
lived on that farm without neighbors for three or four years; 
he put in a new chimney, enclosing this tablet, in 1785; and 
there was a sort of record of the man and his work; and there 
is his epitaph on well-preserved marble, in the neighboring 
enclosure for the dead ; but when this house, with its own wood 
poles for studding — still sound and hard when I examined them 
the other day' — and this chimney, that has lifted its head to the 
sunshine and storm for nearly a century, and the tall gravestone 
just over the other side of the road, shall all have crumbled 
away, this record of the country parson will stand to his honor, 
— u Reinforced by Major Stratton." 

Capt. Enoch Noble, in Col. Ashley's regiment, was in service 
20 days, from August 1-2.0, 38 men, at Bennington, "at request 
of Gen. Stark, and order of Gen. Fellows, and ye committee 
of safety, 40 miles from home." These were Stockbridgemen. 
There is another roll from Ashley's regiment, — Lieut. Samuel 
Warner, 29 men, August 15-24, 10 days. I am not sufficiently 
familiar with the old names of South Berkshire, to definitely 
locate these men, 'and sometimes the distances are misleading. 
There may be other rolls of Berkshire men who were in the 
battle of Bennington, these are those which I found in a single 
search, which rarely, in such matters, proves to be exhaustive. 
I make no reference to Capt. Solomon, and his Stockbridge 
Indians, who are known to have been there, nor to volunteers 

Berkshire at Bennington. 265 

from Lenox, who are thought to have been there ; but count 
up the recorded and enrolled: Simonds' regiment, 403; Capt. 
Rowley's men, l9, 432 ; Capt. Noble's men, 38, 471; Lieut. 
Warner's men, 29, 500, to say nothing of the Indians and chance 
volunteers! My good Brother Bartlett shook his head doubt- 
fully to me at Bennington four years ago, when I suggested 
that he made the Berkshire men too few. Why, bless his. 
precious New Hampshire heart, he did not allow us for one- 
third of our men actually on the ground for the first fight. 
"One hundred and fifty." Thank you, New Hampshire! As 
a New Hampshire man, born and bred, and proud of Stark as 
Dr. Bartlett himself, I will maintain the proposition against the 
world, that Berkshire was at Bennington more than 500 strong. 
It was no part of my purpose to-day to describe the battle of 
Bennington. That work has been well done many times of 
late, and on the whole, best done by Governor Hall of Benning- 
ton. I have recently taken a party of students over the ground, 
and explored every part of the field of both fights. The field 
is not like that of Waterloo, or Gettysburg. Its narrow front, 
a high hill, west of the Walloomsack, which here runs south, a 
low hill east of it, a country road running over a bridge, at 
right angles with the stream, and a few log houses along the 
road at both ends of the bridge — the bridge just midway 
between the two hills — and that's the whole of it! On the low 
hill was the Tory breastwork, and behind it some Hessians, 
many Canadians, and more Tories. Here fought, under Stark's 
own eye, in the fore-front of the battle, attacking the key of 
the whole position, the Berkshire militia. They constituted 
the bulk of the whole force in front. Nearly 700 of the New 
Hampshire and Vermont men went 'round on either side, to 
the rear of the high hill, which was crowned with a redoubt, 
and their attack in the rear was the signal for the attack in 
front. Wherever posted, the men did their duty. Stark, who 
had seen fighting before, said, " Had our people been Alexan- 
ders or Charleses of Sweden, they could not have behaved bet- 
ter." In his report to Gen. Gates, Stark said also, and he was 
in the battle of Bunker Hill two years before, "that the battle 
lasted two hours, and was the hottest I ever saw. It rep re- 

266 .Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

sented one continuous clap of thunder." Both hills were car- 
ried at just about the same time, and the bulk of the British 
forces were made prisoners. This was the first fight. 

I have already made sufficient reference to the second fight, 
with the reinforcement of Breimann along the road a mile or 
more west of the field proper, and this is more particularly 
described by Parson Allen. The result of all was the complete 
clipping of Burgoyne's left wing, as his right had already been 
clipped at Fort Stanwix, in the Mohawk Valley. Four days 
after Bennington's battle, the very day most of the Berkshire 
militia got home, he wrote in gloom to the British minister, — 
" Had I succeeded I should have formed a junction with St. 
Leger, and been now before Albany." He had not a high 
opinion of the Tories; he says: "The great bulk of the coun- 
try is undoubtedly with congress," and of the Vermonters he 
adds bitterly, — "The New Hampshire grants in particular, a 
country unpeopled, and almost unknown in the last war, now 
abounds in the most active and most rebellious race of the con- 
tinent, and hangs like a gathering storm on my left." From 
that moment it was all over with Burgoyne. In less than two 
months he and his whole army were prisoners of war; and 
Saratoga, like Gettysburg, became the pivot on which the great 
(late of Peace swung slowly open to the nation. Of Benning- 
ton battle, Bancroft says : " This victory, one of the most 
brilliant and eventful of the war, was achieved spontaneously 
by the husbandmen of New Hampshire, Vermont and Western 
Massachusetts ; " and the prediction of the imperturbable Wash- 
ington was completely fulfilled by it. This namely, " If the 
invaders continue to act in detachments, one vigorous fall upon 
some one of these detachments may prove fatal to the whole 

My topic was "Berkshire at Bennington," and I have not 
said a word about Linus Parker, a volunteer from Lenox, a 
sharpshooter in war time and a hunter in time of peace, who 
tells the horrible story of the fleeing Tories, killed or wounded, 
slipping down the steep face of the main hill, up which, even 
now, one scrambles with difficulty. Nor have I said a word 
about Dr. Oliver Partridge of Stockbridge, the surgeon of 

B&rk&hvre at Bennington. 207 

Berkshire, and who, arriving late, professionally examined 
the mortal wound of Col. Baum; but I have gathered, as well 
as I could in the brief time, by no means perfectly, from hith- 
erto unused material, the large part, the noble part, the too long 
belittled part of Berkshire at Bennington. 





Standing upon a Berkshire hillside which slopes gentiy down 
to the waters of the Hoosac, is a small, plain monument of grey 
stone, bearing the simple epitaph: " Here lies the body of the 
Rev. John Leland of Cheshire, who labored sixty-seven years 
to promote piety, and vindicate the civil and religious rights of 
all men. He died Jan. 14th, 1841, aged 86 years, and 8 

A man whose only education was acquired at a common 
country school; but whose fondness for reading was great, and 
whose retentive memory, habits of observation, quick thought, 
quiet humor, and originality of expression, united to a deep 
religious fervor and zeal in the service of his Master, won for 
him not only an exalted position in the affections of the staid 
New Englanders, but also a warm and lasting remembrance 
among the more luxurious Virginians, and the friendship of 
Madison, Jefferson and VanBuren. A strong patriot, he ever 
labored to promote "civil and religious liberty," and his efforts 
probably contributed more than those of any other man to over- 
throw ecclesiastical tyranny in Virginia, the state of his adop- 
tion, and exerted a powerful influence in his native state when 
the same battle was fought at a later day in Massachusetts." 
Although nearly half a century has passed since his death, and 
of the generation that knew him so well, but few are left, yet 
among those few he is spoken of with moistened eyes and ten- 
der tones, and by them the recollections of his life are cherished 
as a precious heirloom. Reviewing his wonderful success, and 
the influence he left behind him wherever he lived and labored, 
it seems fitting that in this Society his life and works should 
receive more than a passing notice, and in order to present to 
you the character of the man, I shall quote largely from his 
short autobiography : 

" I was born at Grafton, about forty miles west of Boston^ 

272 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

tn the year of our Lord 1754, on the 1.4th of May. The 
earliest public events I can remember are the death of 
George the 2d, and the coronation of George the 3d, to- 
gether with some melancholy accounts of the French and Indian 
war. In early life I had a thirst for learning. At live years 
old, by the instruction of a school dame, I could read the Bible 
currently, and afterward in the branches of learning taught in 
common schools I made as good proficiency as common. As 
my father had no library and 1 was fond of reading, the Bible 
was my best companion. Deism and Universalism I never 
heard of, and of course was what was called a believer in reve- 
lation. I had no thought that I myself was right, but believed 
that some great thing must be done for me or I could nut be 
saved. At times 1 had awful horrors of conscience, when death, 
judgment, and the world to come arrested my attention, but 
these horrors did not reform me from vice, nor turn me to the 
Lord. I was almost in all evil, full of vanity, exceedingly 
attached to frolicking, and foolish wickedness. In this course 
I continued until I was eighteen years old. In the summer of 
1772 I met with one thing singular. When I was returning 
from my frolics, or evening diversions, the following words 
would sound from the skies, ' You are not about the work 
which you have got to do.' The last time I lweard those sounds 
I stood amazed, and turning my eyes up to the heavens it 
seemed that there was a work of more weight than a mountain 
which I had yet to perform. Soon after this, I cannot tell 
how or why, a conviction took place in my mind that all below 
the sun could not tranquilize or satisfy my mind. The world 
and all that was in it appeared of small consequence. At this 
time a young preacher (Elhanan Winchister) came into Grafton 
and preached and prayed to the astonishment of the people. 
The result with me was, now the waters are troubled and it is 
time for me to step in. Reading the Bible, and meditating on 
the shortness of time, and the importance of being prepared 
for death and judgment, occupied the chief est of my time. As 
the work of God broke out in Grafton, I heard much preaching 
and conversation about the change which is essential to salva- 
tion, on which I formed the following conclusions: 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 273 

Firstly, To see the extent and purity of the holy law: That 
it was the perfect rule of eternal right which arose from the 
relations that exist hetween God and man, and between man 
and man; that it will remain unalterable while the perfections 
of God and the faculties of men exist, and that the least devia- 
tion from this rule is sin. 

Secondly, By looking into the law as a clear glass to see my 
own weakness and wickedness. Here I found myself as in- 
competent to repent and believe in Jesus as I whs to keep the 
whole law. 

Thirdly, To view the justice of God in my condemnation. 
Never did the benevolence of God appear more pleasing than 
justice did. I was not willing to be damned, but thought if 
damnation must be my lot it would be some relief to my mind 
that God would be just. 

Fourthly, To discern the sufficiency of a mediator., for a 
number of months before I had a settled hope of my interest 
in Christ, the plan of atonement by the blood of the land) ap- 
peared to me as plain as ever it has since. 

One morning about daybreak as I was musing on my bed 
upon this text, 'After ye believed ye were sealed with the holy 
spirit of promise,' it struck my mind that souls first believed 
before they were sealed, on which conclusion the following 
words rushed into my mind as if they had been spoken by some 
other, " Ye are already sealed unto the day of redemption." If 
so, said I to myself, then surely I am converted. Though very 
far from being satisfied with myself, yet with a very feeble 
hope which I began to have, I did sometimes attempt to pray 
in small circles. One evening as I was walking the road alone, 
I was greatly cast down, and expressed myself thus, ' I am not 
a Christian ; I have never been convicted and converted like 
others who are true saints. The Devil shall deceive me with 
false hopes no longer. I will never pretend to religion until 1 
know I am born of God.' These words I spoke aloud, but 
immediately the words of Peter rushed into my mind with 
great energy, 'I know not the man.' These words dashed my 
conclusions and resolutions to atoms in a moment. It was a 
shock to the centre of my heart. From that day to this minute 

274 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

which is a term of fifty-six years, amidst all the doubts, dark- 
ness, troubles and temptations I have had, I have never said I 
know not Christ or was unconverted. No sooner was my mind 
exercised about the salvation of my soul, than it was agitated 
about preaching. The number of sermons (such as they were) 
that I preached when I was alone by myself was very great. I 

Both saints and sinners said 'John will be a preacher.' My 
mother professed that she had the same impressions about me 
when I was a sucking child; but my fears were that the devil 
was at the bottom of it seeking to deceive me, and cheat me 
out of my soul. Text after text would crowd into my mind to 
urge me on, but I could not tell whether the devil suggested 
them to me or whether they came from the good spirit of God. 
The 1st of June, 1774, Elder Noah Alden came to North- 
bridge, and baptized seven others and myself. I was extremely 
dark in my mind, but when I gave a relation of my exercises, 
I had this hope that if I was deceived, the preacher would dis- 
cern it, and reject me ; and that if he rejected me it would strike 
such conviction into my heart that would lead me on to a sure 
conversion. The preacher only asked me if I believed in the 
Calvinistical doctrine. . I replied ' I did not know what it was, 
but I believed in free grace.' As he received me, dark as my 
mind was, I would not give back. On Sunday, the 20th of 
June, I went to meeting at Grafton, where there was no preach- 
er. My mind was greatly embarrased about preaching, and my 
prayer was that I might know my duty. The words of the 
prophet occurred to my mind, 'There is none to guide her of 
all the sons she has brought forth.' Having the Bible in my 
pocket, I drew it out and without design opened to Mai., 9th 
chap., 'This commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, 
and if ye will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name 
saith the Lord of Hosts, I will even send a curse upon you.' 
Whatever the original design of the text was, at that time it 
arrested my conscience thus, Thou art the man. I must either 
lay it to heart, open my mouth, and give glory to the name of 
God, or his curse would fall upon me. Fearing the hot dis- 
pleasure of the Lord I rose in great distress, and having read 
Mai. iii:G-17, I told the people if there was no objection I 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 275 

would attempt to speak a little from the text. Being answered 
with silence, as custom led the way, I divided my text into 
several heads of doctrine. At the beginning my mind was 
somewhat bewildered, and my words sounded very disagree- 
able to myself, so much so, that I partly resolved to quit, but 
continuing, my ideas brightened, and after awhile I enjoyed 
such freedom' of thought and utterance as I never had before. 
I spoke about half an hour and then closed. At noontime I 
was all delight. My burden of soul which had borne me down 
so loiii? and so low was all gone, and I concluded I should 
never have it any more. 

But when the people collected for afternoon worship 
my spirits sunk within me. I retired into a lot and fell 
down upon my face by a fence, full of dismay, but suddenly 
the words which God spake to Joshua, "Why liest thou 
upon thy face? up!" gave me to understand there was no 
peace for me in indolence. I therefore went to the meeting- 
house and tried to preach again but made miserable work of it. 
I continued, however, to try and preach as doors opened, but I 
tried it more than ten times before I equaled the first in my 
own feeling. I finally surrendered and devoted my time and 
talents to the work of the ministry without any condition, 
evasion or mental reservation. In myself I have seen a rustic 
youth unacquainted with men, manners and books; without the 
smallest prospects or even thought of gain or applause turn out 
a volunteer for Christ, to contest with all the powers of dark- 
ness. The first preaching tour that I made was a small one, 
about forty miles in length, preaching to little congregations on 
the way. In the autumn of J 7 74, I joined Bellinghani church. 
Iri Oct., 1775, I took a journey to Virginia, and was gone eight 
months. Sept. 30th, 1776, I was married to Sally Devine, of 
Ilopkinton, and immediately started with her to Virginia. At 
Mount Poney, in Culpepper, I joined the church and undertook 
to preach among them half the Sundays. In August I was or- 
dained by the choice of the church without the imposition of 
the hands of a Presbytery. As this was a departure from the 
usage of the churches of Virginia, I was not generally fellow- 
shipped by them. I spent all my time travelling and preach- 

276 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

ing and had large congregations. In the close of the year 
1777, I travelled as far south as Pee Dee river in Smith Caro- 
lina, and returned to Culpepper early in 1778. Soon after this 
I removed into Orange county where I acquired me a resi- 
dence, and where I remained all the time of my stay in Vir- 
ginia. My stay in Culpepper was not a blessing to the people. 
I was too young and roving to be looked up to as a pastor. 
Difficulties arose; the church split, and I just obtained a dis- 
mission and recommendation. Having moved to Orange, 1 
commenced my labors with ardor. Twelve and fourteen times 
a week I frequently preached, but there was but small appear- 
ance of the work of God's spirit. My held of preaching was 
from Orange down to York, about one hundred and twenty 
miles. The chiefest of my success was in York in 1780, where 
Lord Cornwallis and the British army were made prisoners in 
Oct., 1781. From this time to the year 1785, by the siege of 
Lord Cornwallis, the refunding of paper money, and removals 
to Kentucky, religion ran low in Virginia. In the year 1781:, 
I travelled northward as far as Philadelphia. Late in this year 
I travelled to the south-east about one hundred and sixty miles, 
and in the fall of 1785 I took a preaching tour into the lower 
part of North Carolina. In June, 1787, I was ordained by the 
laying on of hands." 

Leland was conscientiously opposed to high church preten- 
sions in regard to ordination, and declined to submit to any 
form of ordination service, but many of his brethren were so 
worried over the irregularity, that at last he consented to be 
"set apart by the laying on of hands." The Baptist "Weekly 
gives the following report of the services. The council, con- 
sisting of three staunch Calvinists, was called. The day ap- 
pointed for the ordination arrived, and with it came a multi- 
tude of people to witness the ceremony. The work was 
divided among the several Presbyters. One was to ask the 
usual questions concerning his faith and call, another was to 
offer up the ordination prayer, and another was to deliver the 
charge to the pastor and the church. Leland took his seat long 
before they appeared and resting his arms on his knees, and 
burying his face in his hands, awaited their movements. The 


Recollections of Elder Leland. 277 

Presbyter appointed to conduct tlie examination at length 

Moderator. "Brother Leland, it becomes my duty according 
to previous arrangement to ask you a few questions upon the 
subject of your faith, and in reference to your call to the min- 

"Well, Brother," said Leland, slowly raising his head, "I 
will tell you all I know," and down went his head into his 
hands again. 

Model ator. "Brother Leland, do you not believe that God 
chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world?" 

Leland. (Looking up). "I know not, brother, what God 
was doing before he began to make this world." 

Moderator. Brother Leland, do you not believe that God 
had a people from before the foundation of the world?" 

Leland. "If he had, brother, they were not our kind of 
folks. Our people were made out of dust, you know, and 
before the foundation of the world there was no dust to make 
them out of." 

Moderator. " You believe, Brother Leland, that all men are 
totally depraved \ " 

Leland. "No, brother, if they were they could not wax 
worse and worse as some of them do. The devil was no more 
than totally depraved." 

Moderator. "Well, there are other questions that will em- 
brace all these in substance. I will ask whether you do not 
believe that sinners are justified by the righteousness of Christ 
imputed to them \ " 

Leland. " Yes, brother, provided they will do right them- 
selves, but I know of no righteousness that will justify a man 
that won't do right himself." 

Moderator. "Brother Leland, I will ask you one more ques- 
tion. Do you believe that all the saints will persevere through 
grace to glory, and get home to heaven at last? " 

Leland. " I can tell you more about that, my brother, when 
I get there myself. Some seem to make a very bad start of it 

The Presbyter, seeing that the audience was greatly amused, 

278 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

proposed to his colleagues that they should retire for a few 
moments and consult together. After returning they remarked 
to the congregation that Brother Leland had not answered the 
questions as satisfactorily as they could wish, but as they all 
knew he had many eccentricities, for which they should make 
every allowance, that they had concluded accordingly to ask 
him a few questions touching his call to the ministry. 

Moderator. "Brother Leland, you believe that God lias 
called you to preach the gospel % " 

Leland. "I never heard him, brother." 

Moderator. "We do not suppose, Brother Leland, that you 
ever heard an audible voice, but you know what we mean." 

Leland. " But wouldn't it be a queer call, brother, if there 
was no voice, and nothing said?" 

Moderator. (Evidently confused). " Well, well. Brother 
Leland, you believe at least that it is your duty to preach the 
gospel to every creature?" 

Leland. Ah! No, my brother! I do not believe it to be my 
duty to preach to the Dutch, for instance, for I can't do it. 
When the Lord sent the apostles to preach to every nation he 
taught them to talk to all sorts of people, but he has never 
taught me to talk Dutch yet." 

Upon this the Council retired again, and reported as before, 
much to the surprise of Leland, who was constrained to submit 
to ordination. After they had ordained him in due form he 
said : 

" Well, brethren, when Peter put his hands on people and 
took them off, they had more sense than they had before; but 
you have all had your hands on my head, and before God I am 
as lug a fool as I was before you put them on." 

He continues his narrative, "On my return through Caroline 
County, after 1 had been preaching, I sat in the door yard of a 
friend's house conversing as usual, but here a strange solemnity 
seized my mind, and a strong drawing of my soul to God, 
inspired my heart such as I had not enjoyed for years. I soon 
lost sight of my company and was conversant at the throne of 
grace. This frame of mind continued with some abatement 
until I reached home, which was two days afterward. About 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 279 

three miles before T reached home I obtained great comfort in 
believing that God would work among the people of Orange. 
There was a dancing school set up in the vicinity which was 
much in my way. On Sunday after service I told the people 
that I had opened a dancing school which I would attend one 
quarter gratis. That I would fiddle the tune while the angels 
sung, if they would dance repentance on their knees. The 
project succeeded. The dancing school gave way, and my 
meetings were thronged. Solemnity, sobs, sighs and tears soon 
appeared, and the work prevailed greatly." 

During Elder Leland's whole pastoral life he was most bit- 
terly opposed to any fixed salary being paid a clergyman, and 
would never enter into any such arrangement with the church 
where he labored, although he always gratefully received such 
gifts as were offered him. He believed in preaching for Christ, 
not for money. He said he "did not know how to state a 
salary. If he preached Leland it was good for nothing, but if 
he preached Jesus it was above all price." Under the royal 
government the Episcopal form of worship was established by 
law in Virginia. In addition to a good "house and lot the fixed 
salary was sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco. Afterward 
when tobacco became an article of export, it so increased in 
value that the people agitated the subject of reducing the num- 
ber of pounds, feeling the tax burdensome, which measure the 
clergy strongly objected to. During this agitation between 
priest and people, Col. M., a member of the established church, 
discussing the question with his rector, argued for the reduction 
of salary, to which the clergyman strongly objected, saying, 
" My sermon is not merely one day's work, but it requires the 
previous six days for preparation." Col. M. replied, " Here is 
John Leland, in an adjoining county, who will preach a good 
sermon at a moment's warning, without any preparation." 
" Well, replied the parson, if you will send for John Leland to 
come and preach from my pulpit upon a text that I shall give 
him I will yield the point" Accordingly Col. M. wrote to 
Mr. Leland, stating the circumstances and inviting him to 
preach, and received an answer complying with his request and 
appointing " Two weeks from Thursday, God willing, at two 

2S0 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

o'clock in the afternoon." As the time appointed drew near 
the church was filled with an eager, excited congregation, and 
the Colonel awaited the arrival of his guest very anxiously. A 
few moments before two a solitary figure on horseback drew 
np to the church door, and was eagerly asked by Col. M. if he 
were Elder Leland, to which he responded in the affirmative. 
After the formal introduction to the rector was over he entered 
the pulpit and asked for his text, to which the rector replied, 
"If you have any preliminary exercises go through with them, 
and when you are ready to preach I will give you your text." 
After the opening exercises this text was handed him, "And 
Balaam saddled his ass." 

Leland began by describing the country through which the 
children of Israel were travelling, and enlarged upon the diffi- 
culties by which they were surrounded. Spoke of the desire 
of Balak that Balaam should curse them, and although false 
prophet as he was, he was willing to do so. God forced him 
to bless, instead of curse, his chosen people. After this opening 
he remarked, "In order that you may more readily understand 
I shall divide my discouree into three heads. Firstly, Balaam, 
the false prophet, is most fitly represented by the hireling clergy 
of the established church. Secondly, the saddle is a suitable 
type of the salary paid to these hirelings. Finally, the patient, 
dumb ass represents the burdened people endeavoring in sub- 
mission to support the oppressive load laid upon them." 

From these divisions he launched out in fiery invective and 
scathing sarcasm against the existing condition of affairs. What 
the effect must have been upon the crestfallen rector we can 
easily imagine. History only narrates the triumph of Col. M. 

The following extract from Temple's Virginia Baptist, pub- 
lished in 1810, shows the estimation in which Mr. Leland was 
held in that state: " Mr. Leland as a preacher was probably 
the most popular of any that ever resided in this state. He is 
unquestionably a man of fertile genius. His opportunities for 
learning were not great, but the energetic vigor of his mind 
quickly surmounted this deficiency. His memory was so reten- 
tive that by a single reading he stored up more of the contents 
of a book than many would by a dozen careful perusals. His 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 2ft 1 

preaching, though unmethodical and eccentric, is generally wise, 
warm and evangelical. There are not many preachers who 
have so izreat command of the attention and of the feelings of 


their auditory. Mr. Leland's free and jocund manner have 
excited the suspicions of some that he wanted serious piety. 
His intimate friends are confident that these are groundless 
suspicions. They believe that among his other singularities lie 
is " singularly pious." In prayer he seemed to have an over- 
whelming sense of the holiness, purity and perfection of God, 
and the tones of his voice, and his words were expressive of the 
deepest humility and most reverential awe. Such was his 
power that his hearers felt themselves irresistibly carried into 
the presence of the infinitely glorious, all wise and eternal God. 

His marvellous power to hold an audience is best illustrated 
by the following anecdote: " He once preached for Elder Gano 
in Providence. The Elder admonished him that the people 
would not endure a sermon more than half an hour long. 'I 
will observe the rule,' said Leland. On reading his text he said, 
'My Brother Gano imforms me that people in the city won't 
be quiet if the sermon is more than half an hour long. All 
right! If ministers have but little to say they ought to say it 
in that time, for a short horse is soon curried. Should I be 
favored with a breeze from Calvary, or get into the trade winds 
of the cross, I may preach two hours, but 1 will respect your 
rights." As he drew near the close of thirty minutes, he re- 
lated an anecdote, and announced that any might leave who 
desired to do so ; but none left. Thirty more ; his sails full, the 
congregation weeping, he gave liberty to leave, but none left, 
lie swept on another hour. The people forgot their dinners, 
and at the close pronounced the sermon none too long." 

In 171)0 he traveled to New England, preaching on the way 
both going and coming. The following winter he made ar- 
rangements to move back there, and the last of March, with his 
wife and eight children, took passage by ship at Fredricksburo-. 
On the way they encountered a very severe storm, and during 
all one night Leland was upon his knees in prayer, He says 
" that I prayed in faith is more than I can say, but that I prayed 
in distress is certain." After a long and wearisome voyage 

282 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

they landed in New London. Here lie was detained some time 
by the dangerous illness of his wife, but at last, on the 1st of 
July, they went up the Connecticut river in a scow to Sunder- 
land. From there they journeyed to Conway, where his father 
was then living. In this place his family remained eight 
months, he travelling and preaching all of the time. The last 
day of February, 1792, he moved to Cheshire, which was his 
home all of his after life, with the exception of sixteen years 
in New Ashford, and two in Dutchess County, N. Y. Here 
upon a little farm, which he managed with the kindly occa- 
sional help of his neighbors, and the energy of his wife, he won 
from the reluctant soil of our stony hillsides enough in addition 
to what was given him to support his large family. It is nar- 
rated with great pride by one of his old neighbors that he was 
a very hard working man, and shingled his house alone after he 
was eighty years old. That his wife proved herself a true help- 
mate is shown by this extract from one of his letters to an old 
friend in Virginia, written in 1880: "Every child has left me; 
myself and wife keep house alone. We have neither Cuflce 
nor Phillis to help or plague us. My wife is seventy-seven 
years old, and has this season done the house work, and from 
six cow6 made eighteen hundred pounds of cheese, and two 
hundred and fifty pounds of butter." 

That his wife was a woman of great courage and fortitude is 
shown by her endurance of a lonely life in Virginia, at a time 
when the country was devastated by bands of soldiery, and the 
runaway negroes between the two contending armies were ready 
for plunder and murder. Often she sewed by moonlight for 
her little ones, fearful that the ray of candle light from her 
window might attract a bloody foe. She died after a lingering 
illness of the most distressing character in October, 1837. In 
August, 1797, he went on a preaching tour to Virginia and 
was absent six months. In that time he travelled over two 
thousand miles, and preached more than one hundred and 
seventy times. He would sometimes preach for the church in 
Cheshire a number of weeks in succession, but if he found the 
interest feeble and the people failing in attendance, he would 
announce from his pulpit at the close of the meeting, "There 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 283 

will be no preaching here till further notice," and the next day 
he would preach in Lanesboro', the day after in Hancock, and 
so on in a circuit of perhaps a hundred miles. Among the 
members of Leland's church in Cheshire was a man who was a 
most earnest, zealous supporter of the church and its services, 
but in his eveiw day transactions was noted as a keen, sharp 
man, inclined to drive a shrewd bargain. Elder Leland, preach- 
ing in an adjoining county, was questioned as to the character 

of Mr. B- by one who had suffered in dealing with him. 

He replied, " Godward he is an excellent man, man ward he is 
rather twistical." 

In August, 1790, he again made preparations to visit Virginia, 
and sent on his appointments one hundred miles on his way. 
A fortnight before leaving he told the people of Cheshire that 
he would preach for them every day or night until he started, 
and he seemed solemnly imbued with an unusual outpouring of 
heavenly love, and with a deep conviction that the time had 
come for the Lord to work in Cheshire. The meetings were 
crowded and unusual interest and solemnity prevailed. He was 
greatly exercised in his mind whether he should go to Virginia, 
or stay and "fan the sparks." His last sermon he preached a 
few miles on the way. " The people followed in droves, and 
in time of meeting wept bitterly." He went on and filled the 
appointments he had made the first hundred miles, then re- 
turned to Cheshire and preached every day or night until the 
following March, baptizing more than two hundred persons. 

In November, 1801, he went to Washington to present the 
great cheese made by the dairymen of Cheshire, to President 
Jefferson, preaching all the way there and back. On his return 
from Washington a prominent federalist laughingly said to 
him, "Elder, I hear they found some skippers in the big cheese 
when they cut it." "Oh, I don't doubt that," replied Leland, 
with a humorous twinkle in his eye, "for two Federalists con- 
tributed curd." 

In December, 1813. he made his last visit to Virginia, being 
absent from home six months. At this time the Presbyterian 
was the principal religious belief in Massachusetts, and all per- 
sons were obliged by law to pay for the support of that unless 

284 fiei'kshire Historical and /Scientific Society. 

they filed in a certificate with the town clerk showing that they 
contributed to the support of the gospel under some other belief. 
In 1S11 the people of Cheshire sent Leland to the Legislature 
to use his influence to obtain religions freedom in Massachusetts, 
and into this contest he entered with his whole heart and soul. 
In his speech before that body he says, "Tyranny, Mr. Speaker, 
always speaks the same language. The tyrant of Amnion 
would be friendly to Israel if he might put out their right eyes. 
The tyrant on the Nile would let his subjects go free provided 
they would leave their flocks and herds behind. 

" Go serve the Lord, proud Pharaoh said, 
But let your flocks and herds be staid ; " 
Go serve the Lord, says Massachusetts, 
But bow to Baal with your certificates. 
You all may worship as you please, 
But parish priest will have your fees ; 
His preaching is like milk, and honey, 
And you shall pay our priest your money. 

" The bill has its beauties and its deformities. One prominent 
defect of the bill is a crooked back ; it makes a low stoop to his 
high mightiness town clerk, to pray for the indulgence of wor- 
shipping God ; which is and ought to be guaranteed a natural 
and inalienable right; not a favor to be asked by the citizen or 
bestowed by the ruler. It has also a disagreeable squinting; 
it squints to a purse of money with as much intentness as ever 
a drunkard does at the bottle, or as Eve did at the apple. I 
have never labored hard to support the creed of any religious 
society, but have felt greatly interested that all of them should 
have their rights secured to them beyond the reach of tyrants." 

His feelings regarding slavery may be gathered from the fact 
that during his fourteen years' residence in Virginia, he never 
owned a slave, and from the resolutions offered by him when a 
member of the Baptist General Committee in that state and 
passed by them in 1789, " Resolved, that slavery is a violent 
deprivation of the rights of Nature, and inconsistent with a 
republican government, and we therefore recommend it to our 
brethren to make use of every legal measure to extirpate this 
horrid evil from the land." lie was ever ready with tongue 
and pen to defend the liberty and rights of his country, as the 


fiecollections of Elder Leland. 285 

following extract from "Resolutions of the committee of vigi- 
lance and safety of the town of Cheshire'' in the war of 1812, 
shows: "The said committee he authorized to watch over the 
public welfare, to deal with the hand of moderation and for- 
bearance toward those who from want of information, may be 
led to acts that they would abhor were they sensible of the true 
state of our country; but to those who wilfully undertake by 
word or deed to set at defiance the laws and constituted author- 
ities of the United States, whose means of information preclude 
the possibility of acting ignorantly, let the vengeance of the 
committee be dealt in that manner that shall teach them that 
as free men we mean to live, and as free men we mean to die." 

He was somewhat peculiar with regard to the celebration of 
the Lord's supper, and always avoided officiating at such times 
if possible, lie said he was called only to preach and baptize. 
His eccentricity also showed itself in the peculiar ground he 
took with regard to the Sabbath, claiming no one set day should 
be kept more holy than another, but that all days should be 
kept alike holy to the Lord. lie says, "But as Jesus made a 
custom of entering the synagogue on the Sabbath day I have 
constantly attended public worship on the first day of the week 
for a number of years. When I travel, or live among those 
who keep the seventh day, it pleases me equally well. If this 
day is clothed with a legal establishment to enforce its observ- 
ance it loses its christian character and becomes a tyrant over 

Elder Leland composed a number of hymns, and it was often 
his custom as he entered the pulpit to break forth into song. 
Some of them are ordinary, but one, the hymn beginning, 

The day is past and gone, 
The evening shades appear, 

has won for itself a lasting place in church psalmody. 

He shows the high estimation in which he held women by 
closing a 4th of July address as follows : "Adam was refined 
out of the earth, and the woman was refined out of man, con- 
sequently the woman is like a double refined loaf of sugar ; the 
farthest removed from clay of any part of creation. Indeed, 

286 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

so great is the influence of woman that the innocency of Adam, 
the faith of Abraham, the strength of Sampson, the bravery of 
David, and the wisdom of Solomon, bowed before it." 

He was a warm friend of James Madison. lie often re- 
marked, "Whenever I was with James Madison, whatever the 
conversation might be, I was always impressed with the con- 
viction that I was in the presence of a great man. From an 
intimate acquaintance with him I feel satisfied that all the state 
of Massachusetts for a bribe would not buy a single vote of him. 
A saying of his is fresh in my memory, ' It is ridiculous for a 
man to make use of underhand means to carry a point, although 
he should know that the point is a good one. It would be doing 
evil that good might come.' " 

I have selected the following letter to the celebrated Baptist 
divine, Spencer Cone, as best showing his originality of thought 
and expression, and from the fact that it has very rarely ap- 
peared in print: 

"Cheshire, Dec. 10th, 1826. 
My Good Brother Cone: 

I, John, who also am your brother and companion in tribu- 
lation, and in tho kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in 
the city of Albany last August, where I formed a momentary 
acquaintance with yourself and Brother Maclary. The Chris- 
tian kindness which you and your elect lady expressed at our 
parting, fixed a soft affection in my heart which I wish to in- 
dulge in a letter of friendship. From a septuagenarian, whose 
sun is declining on the western hills, you will not expect energy 
of mind, logical argument, coherent reasoning, nor pomp of 
diction, but contrawise, a sickening dose of egotism. You will 
judge best of my health by hearing that I breathe in common 
twenty-four times each minute, and my pulse beats three times 
as often, which health and strength I have employed the sum- 
mer past in travelling and preaching; which, by the way, has 
been my constant practice for more than fifty-two years with a 
few small exceptions. Since the first of June last I have at- 
tended three Associations, seen eighty-six Baptist preachers, 
and tried to preach eighty-one times. In retrospecting my life 
I do not much reproach myself for not giving myself to the 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 287 

work, as far as domestic duties admitted ; but the lack of divine 
love, little care for the souls of men, weakness in handling the 
word of life, mangling heavenly truths with an unhallowed 
tongue, a proud desire to make God's stream turn my own mill, 
dec., sink me in the dust, and till my soul with shame before 
God and man. It has in the course of my ministry been a 
question of no small magnitude, to know how to address a con- 
gregation of sinners, as such, in gospel style. When I turn my 
eyes to the upper book, (the eternal designs of God), I there 
read that God's work is before him, and that he works all things 
according to the counsel of his own will; that neither a sparrow 
nor a hair of the head can fall without our heavenly Father; 
that providence and grace are the agents to execute his purpose. 
But when I look into the lower book, (the freedom of the hu- 
man will), I find that condemnation is conditional. " Oh, that 
thou hadst hearkened unto me, then had your fear been as a 
river, seeing ye judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, so 
we turn to the Gentiles." If I do not read and believe the 
upper book I impeach the omniscience and wisdom of Jehovah. 
And if I do not likewise read and believe the lower book, I 
deny the possibility of guilt or blame. I must therefore believe 
both, and when I cannot comprehend E will adore; when I 
cannot read I will spell, and what I cannot spell out I must 
skip. If the human mind should be so enlarged that it could 
solve every difficulty that has hitherto appeared, that same 
enlargement of thought would enfold a thousand difficulties 
more, so subtle and minute that it never felt the weight before ; 
so that there would be no i^ettino' through. 

The truth is, sin has ruined man so entirely, that any plan 
that human wisdom could desire or comprehend, would be in- 
competent to save. 

A scheme founded in infinite wisdom is necessary, and if 
founded in infinite wisdom, the wisdom of finite creatures can- 
not comprehend it in all its parts. 

" Though of exact perfection we despair, 
Yet every step to virtue's worth our care." 

Let the men of God read, study, meditate, consider, pray, 

288 Berksfiire Historical and Scientific Society. 

and seek after wisdom as for hidden treasure, but when he 
comes to water too deep for his length, let him adore and he 
hnmhle. Paul undertook to unfold the knotty question, which 
ever puzzles the world, in the ninth and eleventh chapters of 
Romans; hut before he got through he found the waters so 
high that he cried out, "O the depths! How remarkable are 
his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Let it he my 
lot to be a child at the feet of my Master, ever learning of him 
who was meek and lowly of heart; then shall I find rest for 
my soul, and know enough to make me happy. When I was 
young I noticed that old preachers never knew when to leave 
the work, and I confess I am at a loss about it myself. I yet 
carry my eyes in my head, but my sight in my pocket ; but if 
some minister was to give me a friendly hint that I was run 
down in decay it is probable that (like Milton) I should reproach 
him as an upstart. I yet natter myself that my. performances 
have a little in them which is valuable. So Solomon's triennial 
cargo consisted partly of the precious articles of gold, silver, 
and ivory, and partly of apes and peacocks. It has been a 
rather trying time for Baptist preachers who have travelled and 
labored day and night for the good of souls ; like the mules 
which Agrlaster saw, they have been loaded with figs and feed- 
ing upon thistles. What the new order of missionary friends 
and exertions may do I cannot say. Whether there is goodness 
enough in men to be pampered without growing indolent and 
haughty is a question. One thing, however, is certain, viz: the 
captive children who lived upon pulse (pottage of peas) were 
fresher, fatter, and ten times better in counsel than the regular 
bred priests in the realm of Babylon who lived on a royal por- 
tion of meat and wine. 

I have some drawings of mind to visit your city, and see my 
father's children who reside there ; but to carry a dim candle 
among so many radiant sons would be rather absurd. Could I, 
like Paul, visit you in the fullness of the gospel of Christ, and 
impart unto you some spiritual gift, I should not hesitate. Jhit 
ah! my leanness, my leanness! Call me not Naomi, but call 
me Mara. The prayer that I have been making for more than 
half a centnry is expressive of my present state — " God be mer- 

Recollections of Elder Leland. 289 

ciful to me a sinner." I wish my brother that a gracious God 
may bless you in soul and body, for time and eternity. And 
may your dear partner in life have the courage of Deborah, the 
piety of Hannah, the humility of Mary, the intelligence of 
Priscilla, and the benevolence of Phoebe. 

Adieu, John Leland. 

Rev. Spencer II. Cone, living in the city of regeneration, 
Grace St., Penitent Alley, at the sign of the Cross, next door 
to Glory." 

Often as he walked the country roads with his Bible in a 
small green baize bag on his arm, he would break out into ejac- 
ulatory prayer, and meeting a friend a nod and slight move of 
the hand would be his only greeting, so engrossed would lie be 
in the contemplation of heaven and heavenly things. He chose 
for his sermons and essays most peculiar titles, such as " The 
Yankee Spy," "A Little Cake First," "Old Theory Exposed," 
" Hawk and Buzzard," " Old Mr. Well's You Can." He was 
a man of great humility, which his success as a minister seemed 
never to overcome. In his old age he writes of a visit to Al- 
bany : " During my stay in Albany, which was five days, I 
was introduced to three governors. My rusticity of manners, 
and the humble rank I fill, make such interviews more painful 
than nattering." 

January 8th, 1841, he preached in North Adams, and after 
service was taken suddenly ill. A physician was soon called, 
who pronounced his condition dangerous. Elder Leland him- 
self felt that it was his final sickness, and thought it useless to 
do much for his recovery. He however consented to do what 
seemed necessary. The symptoms of prepneumonia developed, 
and he gradually failed. He was conscious of his situation and 
said he " was ready to go." Being asked shortly before he died 
what were his views of the future, he exclaimed, witli both 
hands uplifted, and a radiant smile never to be forgotten, "My 
prospects of heaven are dear." At eleven o'clock p. m., Jan. 
14th, his spirit joyfully took its flight to the presence of the 
Master he had so long and faithfully loved and served. He 
was buried in the cemetery at Cheshire Jan. 17th, and although 
but one of his children stood by his grave it was surrounded by 


290 BerksJiire Historical and Scientific Society. 

a weeping throng from the whole country side, eager to pay 
the last tribute of reverential affection to their aged friend and 

Note.— For the material comprised in this article T am indebted to " Life and Works 
of Leland," by Miss L. F. Green, and to personal recollections of Mrs. II. J. Ingalls. 

and Dr. and Mrs. L. J. Cole of Cheshire. 





In 1871 the trustees of the Berkshire Athenaeum were incor- 
porated "for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in the 
town of Pittsfield an institution to aid in promoting education, 
culture and refinement, and diffusing knowledge by means of a 
library, reading-room, lectures, museums and cabinets of art, 
and of historical and natural curiosities." From the date of its 
organization the Athenaeum has been steadily growing along 
the lines indicated in its charter, until to-day it may fairly claim 
to be the literary, historical, and artistic centre of the county. 

The quarterly meetings of the Berkshire Historical and Sci- 
entific Society are held here, and a museum of local antiquities 
is crowded with interesting, rare and valuable mementoes of 
the past. Here are household implements and furniture, illus- 
trative of New England life in the previous century ; arms and 
military insignia of the Revolutionary times ; Indian relics ; 
uniforms, arms, and currency used during the Civil War; and 
many documents bearing on topics of local history. Among 
the more interesting objects of modern date is the desk upon 
which Hawthorne wrote romances during his stay in Lenox. 

In the museum of the Athenaeum there are also valuable 
collections in the various departments of natural history, includ- 
ing, particularly, local minerals and rocks. The latest addition 
to this department is a collection of borings from an artesian 
well in Pittsfield, exhibiting the character of the strata of rock 
to a depth of nearly eight hundred feet, and verifying Professor 
Dana's statement that Berkshire County is over layers of lime- 
stone, from one thousand to fifteen hundred feet thick. 

The art gallery occupies the main room on the second floor, 
and contains a series of excelleut casts which represent the finest 
sculpture of Greece and Rome, and a marble statue of Rebecca, 
by Benzoni, presented by Mrs. Mary M. Clapp in 1884; while 

fc 204 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

upon the walls there are paintings and photographs which, 
though as yet limited in number, are of a high degree of merit, 
the latest addition being a fine copy of Raphael's Sistine Ma- 
donna, by Bardi. The museum and art gallery attract large 
numbers of visitors, and young artists are sometimes seen 
copying the faultless lines of the ancient models. 

On the ground floor, besides a spacious room in which the 
meetings of the board of trustees are held, there are two read- 
ing-rooms, a reference library and the circulating library, offices, 
and lavatories. In the larger of the reading-rooms are to be 
found the leading daily newspapers of New York, Boston, 
Albany, and Springfield, and all our city and comity papers. 
This room is constantly filled by readers. In the smaller room 
are the magazines, and the leading literary and scientific peri- 
odicals of this country and England. The reference-room con- 
tains a large number of unusually well-selected volumes, among 
which, after the sets of all the standard cyclopaedias, dictiona- 
ries, gazetteers, and atlases, may be particularly noted the superb 
work of Luigi Canina, upon the edifices of ancient Rome. This 
work, in six elephant folio volumes, is printed on hand-made 
paper, contains a multitude of fine engravings, and is invaluable 
to the student of architecture or Roman history. It is valued 
at five hundred dollars, and is the gift of Mr. Franklin E. Tay- 
lor of New York. By its side, and no unworthy companion, is 
" Picturesque Australasia," recently presented to the Athenaeum 
by Z. C. Renne, Esq., of Sidney, Australia. The library con- 
tains complete sets of nearly all the leading magazines, " Har- 
per's Monthly," " Atlantic," " LittelPs Living Age," " Scribner," 
"Century," etc., to which "Poole's Index" furnishes a ready 
key. This reference-room is usually filled by a company of 
students who make it their laboratory. Pupils of the public 
schools are encouraged to make daily use of its shelves, in order 
to broaden their conceptions of language, literature, and science ; 
and the librarian, with his assistants, aims to make it, and indeed 
every department of the Athenaeum, a true seminary of learn- 
ing, rather than a confused store-house of paper and print. 

One large room on the second floor is used as a lecture-room. 
In this are held the meetings of the Historical Society already 

History, etc., of Berkshire Athenaeum. 295 

noted; and the meeting of the Wednesday Morning Club, 
which, under the care of Miss Anna L Dawes, daughter of 
Senator II. L. Dawes, is widely known as one of the most suc- 
cessful literary societies organized by the women of America. 
The walls of this room are hidden by large cases containing 
nearly 3,000 volumes of United States public documents, ob- 
tained mainly through the influence of Mr. Dawes; a complete 
set of the "American Archives," presented by the late Hon. 
Thomas Allen ; and of several hundred volumes from the li- 
brary of the late Hon. Julius Rockwell, recently presented by 
his son, Robert C. Rockwell. The Athenaeum has one of 
the most complete collections of government publications in 

The newspaper department of the Athenaeum is peculiarly c 

rich. There are here files of the " New York Tribune,' and 
" Harper's Weekly," presented by George P. Briggs, Esq., and 
covering many years of the nation's history ; a complete file of 
the " Pittsfield Sun," from 1800 to 1872, given by Mr. Phineas 
Allen, and since 1873 continued without an interruption 
to date ; files of other county papers, extensive, though less 
complete; a file of the "Boston Daily Advertiser," covering 
more than eighty years, and secured mainly through the influ- 
ence of Hon. James M. Barker; and more than a hundred 
bound volumes of miscellaneous newspapers, whose dates range 
from the present time back into the previous century. Besides 
these, the Athenaeum has gathered from various sources such a 
collection of manuscripts and documents that it has become a 
mine of wealth for the original student of Massachusetts history, ' 
and is frequently sought by scholars from distant cities, who 
find here what they have vainly sought in many larger and older 

In this connection must be mentioned a collection of nearly 
3,000 valuable pamphlets, many of them unique, and all bound, 
provided with tables of contents, and catalogued, so as to be 
immediately accessible. Very few, if any, other libraries can 
show the student so readily what he may expect to find amid 
the innumerable pages of pamphlet literature with which their 
shelves, or their attics, are too frequently merely encumbered. 

290 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

One department of the library is devoted to Massachusetts 
histories ; and, besides several hundred volumes of State docu- 
ments, including the rare reports of the Adjutant-Generals, it 
has made a good beginning in the purchase of town and county 
histories. It has also a complete set of the "New England 
Genealogical Register," a nearly complete set of the proceed- 
ings and collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and 
full sets of the proceedings of the Worcester Society of An- 
tiquity, records of Massachusetts, Plymouth Colony records, 
and Boston records. 

The circulating library contains some 15,000 carefully chosen 
volumes, with an annual circulation of 35,000 volumes. The 
system of classification, and the methods of cataloguing and 
delivery are modeled substantially on those of the Boston Pub- 
lic Library, with such modifications as the difference in the 
circumstances of the two institutions suggests. The total num- 
ber of cards issued to date is 6,966. About four hundred new 
readers are added to the list each year. 

The library is free to all residents of Pittsfield, although card 3 
for drawing books are not issued to children under fifteen years 
of age, unless they are vouched for by their parents or guar- 
dians. Those who draw books usually make their selections 
from the printed catalogue, the latest edition of which was 
published in 1888. The trustees design to issue supplementary 
catalogues once in five years; and in the interim supplementary 
lists are published in the daily paper, and are also fastened in 
alphabetical order upon the blank leaves of interleaved cata- 
logues. The library is not yet large enough, in the opinion of 
its managers, to require a card catalogue. While most readers 
make their selections from the catalogues, the freest possible 
access is granted to the shelves ; and this favor is highly esteemed 
by all students, because, as the books are grouped carefully to- 
gether under a well-studied system of classification, selections 
and references can often be more easily, quickly, and intelli- 
gently made in the alcoves, than at the desk. No confusion or 
loss has resulted from this plan. 

The germ of the Berkshire Athenjeum is found in the Pitts- 
field Library Association of 1850. This institution after a few 

History, etc., of Berkshire Athenmum. 297 

years showed signs of weakness, but was strengthened by a gift 
of $500 from James M. Beebe of Boston. At a later date im- 
portant contributions to its funds were made by Hon. Thomas 
F. Plunkett of Pittsfield, a far-seeing and philanthropic gentle- 
man, who considered the interests of the public library insepa- 
rable from those of the town. It was almost wholly owing to 
his continued support that the library maintained its existence 
and grew in value, until in 1872 it contained more than 4,000 
volumes, which constituted the nucleus of the present Athenae- 
um Library. The Pittsfield Library Association was a private 
corporation, with a charge of five dollars a share, subject to an 
annual tax of one dollar. Non-shareholders obtained the use 
of the library by paying two dollars a year. Many of the 
friends of the library long hoped for a more permanent estab. 
lishment, and desired to make it free. Among the foremost of 
these were Hon. Thomas Allen, then president of the institu- 
tion, Hon. Thomas F. Plunkett, and Calvin Martin, Esq.; and, 
to further their design, these gentlemen contributed, Mr. Martin 
$5,000 and Messrs. Allen and Plunkett $1,900 each, toward 
tin; purchase of* the old Agricultural bank building. In 1870 
Mr. Allen fitted up this building, at a cost of $000, and the 
library was removed to it, and its name changed to the Berk- 
shire Athenasum. 

In anticipation of this action, the Legislature had in 18G9 
authorized the trustees of the Berkshire Medical College to sell 
its real estate, and divide the income from the proceeds annu- 
ally between the Athenaeum and the Young Men's Association, 
until the broader institution should be organized. Four thou- 
sand, four hundred dollars was now paid over under this law; 
and the Athenreum received also the library, cabinets, and other 
personal property of the Medical College. In 1872 Mr. Phine- 
has Allen, proprietor of the "Pittsfield Sun," died childless, 
leaving an estate valued at more than $70,000, and making the 
Athenaeum his residuary legatee, after the payment of certain 
legacies and annuities. The property remaining after the pay. 
ment of the legacies is now estimated at $60,000. In Decem- 
ber, 1873, Hon. Thomas Allen offered to erect a building costing 
not more than $50,000, provided a fund sufficient to insure its 

298 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

permanent support were secured, and the site freed from mort- 
gage and suitably enlarged. These conditions were met at a 
cost of $24,000, which was paid by the town ; and the lot of the 
Athenaeum acquired a frontage of one hundred and forty-four 
feet, with a depth of ninety-one feet six inches. The town also 
contracted to pay the Athenaeum $2,000 (afterward increased 
to $3,000) a year, on condition that Mr. Allen should erect the 
proposed building, and that the Athemeum maintain a library 
free to all inhabitants of Pittsfield. The library had already 
been made free, and the new building, of native blue limestone 
and polished granite, was completed in 1874. Subsequently 
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Clapp gave $5,000 to the library, and Mr. 
Bradford Allen bequeathed an equal sum to the trustees for the 
benefit of the Athenaeum. The property of the Athenaeum 
may now be estimated at $200,000. Its walls are adorned by 
many engravings, photographs and paintings, notably portraits 
of its benefactors, Mr. Phinehas Allen and Mr. Calvin Martin, 
and of Governor Briggs, Gen. William Francis Bartlett, and 
Rev. John Todd. There are also several excellent busts in 
marble, among which must be noted that of Hon. Thomas Allen 
and lion. Thomas F. Plunkett, whose invaluable services to the 
Athemvum have been mentioned ; Gen. "William Francis Bart- 
lett, Prof. Louis Agassiz, and a marble medallion of Abra- 
ham Lincoln. One of the recent gifts is a valuable and 
beautiful clock, presented by the Wednesday Morning Club. 

The board of trustees as first organized were Thomas Allen, 
Ensign II. Kellogg, Thomas Colt, George Y. Learned, Edward 
S. Francis, John Todd, Henry L. Dawes, Edwin Clapp, William 
R. Plunkett, William F. Bartlett, and James M. Barker. John 
Todd died in 1873, William Francis Bartlett in 1870, and 
Thomas Colt in 1876. Their places were filled by Charles V. 
Spear, Frank E. Kernochan, and Morris Schaff. Charles V. 
Spear has since removed from town. Thomas Allen and En- 
sign 11. Kellogg died in 1882, Edwin Clapp and F>ancis E. 
Kernochan in 1884; and their places have been tilled by Henry 
W. Taft, William Russell Allen, Henry M. Peirson, William 
M. Mercer, and Walter Cutting. For sixteen years the office of 


History ) etc., of Berkshire Athencev/rn. 209 

librarian and curator was ably filled by Edgar Gr. Ifubbel, who 
was succeeded in 1888 by Harlan II. Ballard. 

Mr. Felix Trainor has been the trusted janitor of the Athe- 
nauim since it was opened in 1876. Mr. Edward Tobey has 
for several years been of great service as first assistant to the 
librarian, and Miss Harriet Wilson has during the past year, 
L890, rendered equal aid as second assistant. 

I have given a general account of the history and present 
condition and equipment of the Berkshire Athemeum ; it remains 
to consider the methods by which its officers are endeavoring to 
carry out the high purposes of its founders, so that it may "aid 
in promoting education, culture, and refinement," and in " dif- 
fusing knowledge." 

The building itself, with its beautiful proportions, its harmo- 
nious coloring, its spacious rooms, and its tasteful appointments 
is a constant though silent minister of refinement. 

Years ago, when first opened, it was thought necessary to 
have everywhere prominently displayed notices directing the 
public behavior. As one entered its sculptured portals lie was 
confronted with a request to remove his hat ; as he passed into 
the reading-room, he ran against a caution to refrain from loud 
talking and other unseemly conduct, and in no part of the 
building could he escape some obtrusive reminder that the 
managers of the Athenjeum entertained a too well grounded 
apprehension that the privileges of the institution were in dan- 
ger of abuse. Within a year or two these notices have been 
quietly removed, or relegated to positions of obscurity ; and the 
demeanor of the public within these walls has been marked by 
dignity and good order. There seems now to be something in 
the quiet atmosphere of the Library which is a more effectual 
restraint upon vulgarity than remonstrance or cautionary 

The works of art too undoubtedly exercise an influence in 
the direction of culture. In the presence of these figures of 
ideal manhood, and womanhood, and more particularly before 
that inimitable conception of Divinity incarnate which Raphael 
gave to the world in a moment of inspiration, the most confi- 
dent spirit may well feel abashed, and a sense of reverence 


300 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

steals into the most thoughtless heart. The trustees of the 


Athenamm have rendered the county a signal service in ex- 
cluding from the art gallery every work which is not of ex- 
ceptional merit. This high standard will undoubtedly be main- 

Besides the mysterious influence of beauty and high concep- 
tion to which I have referred, the art gallery serves a more 
apparently practical purpose in furnishing models for art stu- 
dents, one or more of whom may now and then be seen with 
pencil or brush copying the lines fixed beyond modern attain- 
ment by the masters of ancient days. 

Much more might be done in this direction than has yet been 
done. Teachers in our schools might well bring their classes 
hither at stated times, and give them instruction illustrated by 
onr casts and paintings, and doubtless as the collection increases, 
and as a taste for art develops in the county this opportunity 
will be more and more appreciated. The presence in a com- 
munity of a well appointed gallery of art is a continual protest 
against all extravagances of style in dress and manner. Tawdry 
coiffures become particularly grotesque beside the fillets of 
Minerva; and an excellent cure for foppishness might be found 
if we could cause the fop to stand beside Apollo, and consult a 

A museum is a means of diffusing knowledge; our museum 
consisting partly of specimens of natural history and partly of 
historical relics has much to teach the student of the past 
achievements of Berkshire and of its present resources. 

The relics of the Revolutionary war and of the late Civil war 
are eloquent of patriotism and sacrifice; the rude household 
implements and utensils of a hundred years ago speak to us of 
that toil, economy, patience, and self-denial by which our nation 
was upbuilt. Jt may be that the majority of the thousands who 
look upon these memorials from year to year, are largely moved 
by transient curiosity, yet even upon the idlest the lesson of 
love of their native land cannot wholly be lost. The educa- 
tional value of this department of the Athenauim will be vastly 
increased when the future shall bring room for the proper clas- 
sification and display of the collection. The day will come, we 



History a etc., of Berkshire Atlienwum. 301 

trust, wlien our cabinets will exhibit all the products of the 
county arranged in due order, accurately labeled, not only 
with the name of each specimen, but also with the place from 
which it came, and the date of its discovery. 

The chief purpose of such a museum we conceive to be not 
to serve as a general curiosity-shop, but as a carefully planned 
exhibit of the plants, animals, and mineral products of the 
immediate vicinity. There should also be smaller working 
collections of type-specimens, illustrating the modern classifica- 
tion of natural objects, and these should be arranged in cases 
not only convenient for inspection, but so designed that they 
may be taken home for study, being drawn by the public just 
as books are drawn from the library. Such specimens of nat- 
ural history as require the caution "Hands off," must be classi- 
fied among the higher orders of bric-a-brac. 

After all, the chief interest of the Athenreum centers in its 
library, which has already been described. Some features of 
this department, however, deserve special attention ; and first 
the collection of public documents. Unhappily this, one of the 
most valuable, useful, and interesting of our treasures, is neither 
understood nor appreciated by the public. It is only a few 
weeks, indeed, since one of our leading city papers referred in 
a sarcastic tone to k 'the countless volumes of dreary congres- 
sional proceedings," and the dust on these priceless volumes is 
rarely disturbed save by the hand of some man of distinguished 
ability and understanding. Yet here is contained the only full 
and accurate history of the United States of America; within 
these monotonous bindings is hidden the wisdom of America's 
greatest statesmen, and the eloquence of her most illustrious 
orators. It is quite true that a man does not wish to sit down 
and read the doings of Congress through as he would a work 
of fiction, but they are no more " dreary" on that account than 
a gazetteer or dictionary. When public documents are promis- 
cuously piled together with no attempt at classification, as is too 
often the case, the ordinary reader is easily confused, and finds 
any special article with difficulty, but when, as in our library, 
all the volumes are carefully arranged in strict chronological 
order, and also by their topics, and when they are provided 

302 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

with a general index sncli as we possess, their contents become 
nearly as accessible as the articles in an encyclopedia. 

Nor are all of these documents merely the records of con- 
gressional action. Many of them are full of stories of ex- 
ploration and adventure, containing the records of the first 
invasion of the wilderness by man, and graphic accounts of the 
appearance, customs, and life of the various Indian tribes which 
once hunted and fished where we now read and write. Most 
of the works of this class are filled with beautiful and 
costlv pictures, engravings on wood and steel, photographs, and 
photographic reproductions, and hundreds of rare illustrations 
in color by master hands. One reason that these books are 
undervalued' is to be found in their uniform binding, another 
in the very fact we have so large a collection of them. 

If I were to select to-day some one of a thousand volumes I 
could name, have it bound in turkey or levant morocco, bring 
it down to the table of the reading-room and invite the local 
reporters to inspect it as a new acquisition to the Athenaeum, 
the next day's paper would contain an account of it couched in 
terms of high encomium if not of pleased astonishment. To- 
morrow I might select another with a like result, and so on for 
a year or two, and each time there would easily be elicited 
a notice congratulating the Library on its good fortune, and 
commending each new volume to the attention of the reading 
public. It is only because our philanthropic Senator, Mr. Dawes 
has secured so unusually generous a grant of these books to 
I'ittsfield, and because their plain leather backs do not appeal 
enticingly to the eye, that they have come to be regarded as 
" dreary." 

Yet, even unappreciated by the many as they hitherto have 
been, their usefulness has not been slight. Our students know 
their value and understand how to bring it forth, and often on 
some great occasion in the history of the town, when the duty 
of public speech has been intrusted to one or other of our most 
honored citizens, their storehouse of knowledge has been tapped, 
and streams of wisdom and eloquence have flowed out through 
living lips to instruct and delight a multitude that stopped not 
to trace the grateful current to its source. 

History, etc., of '■ Berkshire Athenomm. 303 


The Berkshire Athenaeum is perhaps the first public library 
which has made its pamphlet literature easily available. The 
entire collection of about 3000 has been closely classified, and 
bound in sets by a special means devised by the writer, whereby 
a pamphlet may readily be added to or taken from any volume 
at pleasure. These volumes, about 300 in number, have been 
provided with tables of contents, and each individual pamphlet 
has been catalogued under its title and author, and in many 
cases under its subject, also. The principle followed is that a 
pamphlet is as truly a book as any other, and should receive 
precisely the same treatment. It is only when this class of 
literature has been thus arranged and catalogued that its value 
becomes apparent. We have 134 volumes of pamphlets relating 
exclusively to Massachusetts; SI to Berkshire County, and 38 
to Pittsfield. 

Among the more interesting of the Massachusetts pamphlets, 
are five volumes relating to our railroads, two concerning the 
lioosac Tunnel, a set of State Election Sermons covering with 
some omissions the period of an hundred years, Governor's 
Addresses, Reports of Prisons, Hospitals and Asylums, and a 
large number of addresses delivered on occasions of special his- 
toric interest, such as the death of Washington, the fall of 
Hamilton, the war of 1812, the anti-slavery crisis, and many 

Among Berkshire pamphlets are the town and school reports 
of the several townships; a collection of the addresses — unfor- 
tunately not complete— delivered at our Agricultural fairs since 
1811, and bearing the names of scores of Berkshire's foremost 
men. Among them 1 note at random Elkanah Watson, the 
founder of the society in 1811, Theodore Sedgwick, Alexander 
Hyde, John Bascom, Arthur Latham Perry, George N. Briggs, 
William Walker, Henry W. Bishop, Sanford Tenney, E. W. B. 
Canning, Richard Goodman, James D. Colt, Orville Dewey, 
Henry L. Dawes. Much of the intellectual history of Berk- 
shire is connected with these names. 

We have nearly 100 volumes of pamphlets relating exclu- 
sively to Williams College, containing besides sets of catalogues, 


304- Berkshire Historical anil Scientific Society. 

neurological lists, and annual reports, a nearly complete set of 

Dr. Hopkins' .Baccalaureate sermons, and most of his special 
addresses; volumes of the old Williams miscellany, and Adelplii, 
and the later Quarterly; sermons by President Ebenezer Fitch, 
President Edward Dorr Griffin, including, with others, his 
farewell sermon at Newark in 1809, his sermon at the dedica- 
tion of the new chapel in 1828, and two manuscript sermons 
dated 1807 and 1814; a series of addresses and sermons by 
Professor Albert Hopkins, beginning with his address on the 
opening of the observatory in 183S; and various memorial ad- 
dresses and sermons. 

It was while arranging and cataloguing these sets of pamph- 
lets that a sense of their great value and of the importance of 
their preservation induced me to publish .the following short 
appeal to the public, which I insert here in order to make it a 
continual plea to the good people of Perkshire not to allow the 
records of their local achievements to be lost. 


"The Athenaeum takes its name from Athens, the famous 
literary centre of Ancient Greece. That city again was named 
from Athene, the Goddess of Wisdom. Now Athens was the 
capital of Attica, and from the brightness of its glory all Attica 
became illustrious. The phrases "Attic wit," "Attic salt," 
"Attic faith," "Attic style," are still suggestive of the purest, 
the most refined. 

"In architecture the Attic is a low story erected over an order 
of architecture to finish the upper part of a building. It is so 
called because supposed to have been first used in Attica. 
Prom this the word has come into popular use as signifying 
much the same thing as garret, though the latter word has a 
military rather than an artistic origin, being derived from an 
old French word signifying to watch or guard, and dating back 
to an epoch when the upper stories of houses were used as bat- 

"It will now be plain that there is a close connection at least 
etymological ly, between attics and the Athenaeum ; the name 
of the one being derived from the city which crowned the 
country whose name the other wears. 

History, etc., of J jerks hire Athenmum. 305 

" It is time that the old debt which Attica owes Athens be 
repaid. The attics must do something for the Athenajum. 

"The purpose of this somewhat fanciful introduction is to lead 
the good people of Pittsheld and vicinity to search their attics 
for copies of old pamphlets, papers, sermons, books, and other 
literary "rubbish," and to send whatever they find to the Athe- 
naeum. This would be done by everybody if the value of such 
out of the way material were understood. Scattered about and 
neglected, these miscellaneous pamphlets are not worth the dust 
that settles on them ; but collected in complete sets, carefully 
classified, indexed, bound, and catalogued, the}^ rank with the 
chief treasures of the historical student. No printed or manu- 
script scrap relating even remotely to matters of local interest 
should be thrown away or neglected, until some competent 
student has had the chance of seeing it. If the "garrets" of 
Pittsiield (which are not now places of military defence, but 
repositories which guard property in a more peaceful way) 
could be examined, they would be found to be true "Attics," 
not merely in an architectural sense, but by virtue of their 
accumulated stores of wit and wisdom. 

"Nearly three hundred pamphlets have been received in 
response to this appeal, and we hope for hundreds more. 


Among the most constant and most welcome readers in our 
library are the pupils of our public schools. It has been our 
aim to make the Athemeum supplement and broaden the work 
of the schools. To this end teachers are allowed to draw books 
more freely than others, and in special cases small sub-libraries 
are sent to the school during the time that some special study 
is prominently before the minds of the pupils. 

Teachers are encouraged to send their scholars to the library 
and particularly to the reference-room, whenever they wish 
them to look up particular topics more fully than can be done 
from the text-book alone. 

Nearly every day this department of the Athem~eum is 
thronged by numbers of industrious sudents, whom it is always 
a pleasure to guide, and who learn not merely the particular 
facts of which they are in search, but the far more valuable 


30 6 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

lesson of the way to use books, and tlie method of finding in- 
formation from them. It is worth a great deal to a young 
student to become familiar with the use of a dictionary, cyclo- 
pedia, atlas, gazetteer, catalogue, and index. 

In its relations to the general public the Berkshire Athenaeum 
does not differ materially from other free libraries. There is 
less " red tape " here than in any other library I know of, and 
the time and trouble involved in selecting and drawing books 
is reduced to the minimum. A citizen of Pittsfield can use 
this library with very nearly the same freedom, and in very 
nearly the same manner, that he would if it were his private 

Great pains is taken to enable the public to become acquainted 
with the" contents of the library. Lists of additions are pub- 
lished in the daily papers; important titles are written from 
time to time upon our large black-board ; bulletins are issued? 
and inserted in our catalogues; on special occasions, as for ex- 
ample, when one of our literary societies is to hold a discussion, 
lists of the works we have bearing upon the topic are made out 
and printed. By all these methods the people are coming more 
and more to appreciate what treasures of knowledge and fancy 
are hidden here, and from this miscellaneous mental menu they 
are learning, we trust, to distinguish and to choose the better, 
if not the best. 


By Levi Bee he. 



The summer of 1S7G was remarkable for its unusual heat, 
light, foggy clouds, especially when accompanied with light- 
ning. In keeping the different currents of air, I found almost 
the whole season there were two or more currents, moving 
most of the time very slowly; the ground current more variable 
than the middle, or upper current: it moved much of the time 
from a little north of west, and was very light. The middle 
current was nearly northwest, and did not occupy but a few 
hours in a day, or from eleven A. M. to five or six P. M., 
and three evenings it continued till eight or nine P. M. This 
action of cold air running between the ground and upper cur- 
rent, cut out the gases that carry water, and left a clear space 
from one to three thousand feet deep. The upper current 
moved from southwest, and kept the cold zone very high, so 
that the cold air that held water in vapor was very deep ; the 
clear space cut out by this cold middle current seemed to act 
as a mirror to reflect this vapor in the upper current, and on 
each of these three evenings we had the zodiac light ; the deeper 
the upper current that carried these gases was, the longer the 
light remained. This moving of the upper current from south- 
west almost the whole season, was the cause of the great and 
continued heat of the season. 

During part of two days in June the air all moved from 
north of west, though only in unison about thirty hours, and 
with light wind, moving slowly; on neither of these days did 
the thermometer rise above seventy, and it was as low as fifty- 
four on the morning of the 22d of June. July 24th, we had 
twenty hours of the air all moving from northwest, in unison, 
very slowly, thermometer at 57, 69, and 67. July 25th, north- 
west, very slow, little rain at evening, one one-hundredth of an 
inch, thermometer 55, 67, and 53. July 26th, wind w r est- 
northwest, slower above, thermometer 52, 68, and 67. These 
three days in July were, the only three days in the month that 

Air Currents. 


the temperature did not rise above seventy degrees. There 
were eight days on which the thermometer stood from 70 to 80 ; 
there were fifteen days on which it marked from 80 to 90; 
while there were but live days on which it stood from 90 to 
100. In the month of August we had three days during which 
the air all moved a large part of the time, from north of west, 
in unison, the 20th being the coldest ; thermometer 42, 60, and 
56. On the 26th, 27th, and 28th, the thermometer did not rise 
to 70. Two of these days it was as high as 69, on the other, 
68 ; most of the time these three days, the wind was northwest, 
with the upper current moving slower than the under ; most 
of the time with the weather warm and dry till the 10th of 
September, the action of currents continuing the same as 
through the summer. We had in August eight days on which 
the thermometer was between 70 and 80 degrees, 17 between 
80 and 90 degrees, and five between 90 and 100 degrees; the 
highest being on August 12th, 96 degrees. On the 20th of 
July we had a very singular thunder shower. We had a fresh 
southeast to south wind all day, the atmosphere was filled very 
full and deep with water, we had had thirteen days with the 
thermometer ranging between 80 and 96 degrees, a large part 
of the day-time, so that, perhaps not once in a lifetime in this 
latitude, is the atmosphere so thoroughly fitted for a hard 
storm as on that day. About four o'clock, P. M., a middle 
current of air commenced to move from northwest, with the 
under current running fresh from the southeast, so that, to the 
eye of one not a student in the effect of different currents, the 
scene was most threatening ; but our kind Creator's hand, that 
works the almost continued miracle of keeping two or three 
currents of air moving in so flexible a substance as our atmos- 
phere, was seen to protect and save us ; for a deep, warm, and 
dry southwest upper current moved over the cloud, and the 
water condensed to cloud by the cold middle current was taken 
up, and changed back to vapor, almost as fast as it was con- 
densed by the middle current. This protecting action of the 
upper current continued through the night, and till seven o'clock 
the next morning, so that in the whole night's rain we had but 
one inch and 11-100 of water-fall. From June 10th to Sep- 

( y 

310 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

tember 10th, we had but six days that the atmosphere moved 
in one direction at the same time, and during more than one- 
half of those six days, the upper current moved slower than the 
ground current did; which I find protects us nearly as well 
from the cold that engulfs us, as the two currents moving in 
different directions does. The temperature was higher in the 
valleys, than on this mountain, at midday. The season was so 
unexceptionally warm, I thought a short sketch, with an ac- 
count of the currents that made it, might perhaps be interesting 
to some that may come after us. It is therefore respectfully 



By E. W. B. Canning. 


Berkshire, too, has its heroes; some, indeed, of national fame, 
more of the numerous class whose services, though humbler, 
are not less important in the founding and rearing of civil in- 
stitutions. The trumpet of fame is often sonorous with names 
and deeds which, for real worth, cannot compare with others 
whose quiet merit has, for various reasons, scarcely secured a 
toot upon that capricious instrument. 

In our exchange from monarchical to republican rule, Berk- 
shire was noted for the principle, rather than the impulse that 
controlled her action. The revolutionary violence which char- 
acterized many of the doings of our sea-board citizens, was 
known in our county only to be deprecated. The resistance of 
the dwellers in this section of the Bay State to British aggres- 
sion was based on the natural instinct for freedom, fortified by 
intelligent study on the part of her leading men, of the best 
thoughts of philanthropists, and of political rights of man. I 
know of no more eminent example of a natural, shrewd, con- 
sistent, unflinching, reasonable republican, than of justly famed 
" Parson Allen" of this town. I opine he had more to do with 
the direction of public sentiment and the settlement of civic 
institutions in this portion of our state than any other contem- 
porary patriot in the county — aye, than many of them com- 

Among other remarkable men of Revolutionary time in 
Berkshire, was the subject of this monograph — Colonel John 
Brown. In fulfilling the duty alloted me, it is a pleasure to 
acknowledge my debt for data so exhaustively obtained and 
deftly woven into the able history of Pittsfield by J. E. A. 
Smith, Esq. The thoroughness and fidelity of the work prompts 
my belief that the other towns of our county could scarcely do 
a better thing for posterity, than to invite him to a similar rum- 
mage of their archives with corresponding results. 


Col. John Brown. 313 

A resume of the principal events of the life of Col. Brown — 
on some of which I propose briefly to comment — is as follows : 
Born in Sandisfield Oct. 19, 1744; was graduated at Yale 1771 ; 
studied law in Providence, R. I.; was king's attorney at Caglin- 
awaga, JST. Y., and thence came to Pittsiield in 1773, for the 
practice of his profession ; was one of the delegates from this 
town to the first county convention at Stockbridge in 1774, 
and on the committee to draft those remarkable non-intercourse 
resolutions — the earliest public remonstrance against the acts of 
Great Britain in Western Massachusetts — which emanated 
from that body. Was confidential correspondent thereafter 
with Warren, Samuel Adams and other patriots in the eastern 
part of the State. Delegate from Pittsiield to the Provincial 
Congress in 1775; one of the arbitrators chosen to act in place 
of the Courts of General Sessions and Common Pleas, which 
were suppressed in Berkshire ; and simultaneously commenced 
his military career as ensign in one of the train bands of the 
town. Was one of the committee appointed by Alassachusetts 
to obtain intelligence from, and establish an understanding 
with, Canada, with regard to a united resistance of the mother 
country ; and was the member of the committee delegated to 
visit that province. During his absence on the commission, was 
the first to suggest and urge the capture of Ticonderoga. Was 
among the daring few who performed the exploit, entering the 
fortress in the van, sword in hand, and was appointed to carry 
the tidings to the Continental Congress. Was placed in com- 
mand of the first American flotilla on Lake Champlain, and a 
second time penetrated Canada in disguise, obtaining valuable 
information at great personal danger. Early became the confi- 
dant and adviser of Gen. Montgomery, and as a precursor of 
the invasion of Canada by that officer, led the first detachment 
to Chamblee; cut off communication between St. Johns and the 
interior, and made important captures of prisoners and supplies. 
Again, in conjunction with Ethan Allen, seized a quantity of 
stores intended for the Indians, and met with other successes. 
Shortly after effected another brilliant nocturnal dash, like the 
Ticonderoga enterprise, upon Fort Chamblee, which resulted in 
its capture, with one major, three lieutenants, a commissary and 

314 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

a surgeon, 83 non-commissioned officers and privates, and a 

large amount of arms, ammunition and military stores, among 
the latter six tons of gunpowder, an article of sore need in the 
American army. A letter to Gen. Schuyler from Montgomery, 
eulogizing Brown, manifested the writer's appreciation of the 
value of this transaction, which was shortly followed hy the 
surrender of St. Johns. Schuyler officially informed Congress 
that "Major Brown had certainly, during the last year, done 
extraordinary services." Five other officers of the Northern 
army certified that "Major Brown was the most active man in 
the army, heing employed in the hegiiming of the campaign in 
long, tedious scouts, and in the latter part, before the army 
witli a detachment, he was scarcely off duty, day or night, dur- 
ing the campaign." Tie led the nearest outpost to the enemy 
at the siege of Quebec. In the spring of '77, once more in 
Pittsfieldj acting as one of the town's committee to deal with 
the Tories of the locality. His penetration of the treasonable 
designs of Arnold, dating from his earliest acquaintance with 
him on the Canadian frontier in '75 — of which more anon. 
His manly protest against the latter's machinations to prevent 
his (Brown's) deserved military promotion, but his nobly con- 
tinued service of his country notwithstanding. His splendid 
dash upon Burgoyne's re;ir after the battles of Bemus' Heights 
and Stillwater, captured all his outposts as far as Ticonderoga, 
an armed brig, several gun-boats, 200 batoaux, 300 of the 
enemy, with five cannon and a quantity of fire-arms, and the 
release of 100 American prisoners — all involving on his part 
the loss of only nine men. His rally of his Berkshire regiment 
on the alarm of the raid of Sir John Johnson down the Mo- 
hawk valley in 1780, and his death at Stone Arabia, in battle, 
Oct. 19 of that year, bis 36th birthday. 

These are, summarily, the main incidents in the busy life of 
Col. Brown, which, with many minor details, have been related 
in Mr. Smith's History of Pittsfield. The permanence of their 
record there bars the necessity of more than a mention in this 
paper, and their use as texts on which to hang brief comments 
upon the character of the subject of this memoir. 

And from them I note, first, the indomitable energy of the 

Col. John Brown. 315 

man. There are some men for whom quiet is a penance and 
idleness a purgatory. Weariness is to them what conscience 
was to Napoleon — an unknown quantity in their experience or 
their vocabulary. Activity is a law — a necessity of their 
being, and when combined with a generous nature, is as often 
put forth for others as in their own behalf. Of these Col. 
Brown seems to have been a notable example. In physical 
vigor he was superior to most of his fellows, and a tradition 
used to prevail here that he could send a foot-ball over the fa- 
mous old park elm. His mental activity was correspondent, 
and we find it pervading all the deeds, both of his civic and 
military career. He did nothing by halves. "Whatever he es- 
sayed was prosecuted in a manner that demonstrated his belief 
in what Gen. Banks, in our day, has so aptly expressed — "Suc- 
cess is a duty." Nor do the actions of his life ally this energy 
with a blind impulse to do something, irrespective of foresight 
and of means to execute. He had the dash and etau of Sheri- 
dan, coupled with Sherman's ability to forecast. Some of his 
exploits seem rash, and would probably have been pronounced 
so, had he failed. Such was the capture of Ticonderoga, which 
he seems — if not to have projected, at least to be greatly re- 
sponsible for, by his advocacy of and his personal aid at its 
seizure. Such, too, was his dash into the rear of Burgoyne 
enuring the campaign of '77, which beyond doubt, hastened the 
surrender of Oct. 17. Indeed, the only two failures recorded 
of his military operations — that of his attack on St. Johns, and 
that in which he lost his own life — are attributable to a copart- 
nership in enterprise with other leaders who did not come to 
time, while himself was only too punctual to agreement and to 
duty for his own safety. A very essential quality for a suc- 
cessful commander he certainly possessed, viz: a mental grasp 
of the requisites to achievement, and ability to make attendant 
and even unforseen circumstances contribute thereto. Once 
decided on any measure, his whole soul was thrown into the 
means for its accomplishment, and he knew no quiet until its 
fate was determined. 

Again, his patriotism was eminent, devoted and enduring. 
Within two years from his settlement in Pittsfield, the Revo- 

316 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

lution began, and among the earliest directors of the anti-British 

feeling in our country, his name is found. But lie was not 
content as a mere adviser. His ardent temperament prompted 
him to practice, as well as persuade, and his fellow-citizens soon 
recognized in him the qualities of a leader and made him one. 
And from the day of his acceptance of the trust, his remaining 
years seem to have been devotion, either in a civic or a military 
capacity, to the service of his country. On town or county 
committees, in the provincial congress, as an emissary over the 
northern border, as a subordinate army officer, or at the head of 
his regiment, he was wholly and at all times hers. That his 
motives herein were unselfish is manifest from the perilous na- 
ture of the times and the service rendered, the unsolved prob- 
lem of ultimate success, and the constant opposition he encoun- 
tered from higher officials who were envious of his abilities and 
his promising renown. When a man acting from the purest 
motives for the common good, finds himself opposed at every 
turn, all his doings misconstrued and perverted by the envy of 
meaner souls in higher stations, there is a strong and generally 
followed temptation to retire in disgust from the thankless ser- 
vice and permit sullen indifference to absorb all the kindly 
milk of his nature. If, however, while still protesting against 
the injustice, he remits nothing of his devotedness, he may 
surely be credited with a philanthropy- u Inch has stood the cru- 
cial test. Such was the patriotism of Col. Brown, and reference 
to this topic will answer the question which may reasonably be 
asked by any reader of his life — why he has never been set in 
the honorable niche in his country's annals which he seems to 
have so well earned. I proceed to explain: 

Onward from the day of the capture of Ticonderoga, Brown 
and Arnold were thrown much together in the common service. 
Brown had studied law with Oliver Arnold of Providence, a 
cousin of the traitor, and from him had doubtless ascertained 
much concerning his unsavory antecedents. If his judgment 
thereof was unfavorable to Arnold's pretentious patriotism, it 
must have been confirmed and deepened by personal acquaint- 
ance with him on the eve of the assault on Ticonderoga, when 
Arnold made such preposterous, though unavailing attempts to 


Col. John Brown. 317 

supersede Allen in the leadership of the heroic men who were 
about to essay the perilous exploit. From that time commenced 
the manifestations of the antipathy naturally resulting from the 
contrast of two such opposites as devoted patriotism and utter 
selfishness. Prompted by prior distrust and now enlightened by 
actual knowledge of the man, Col. Brown appears to have kept 
a keen eye upon him, in anticipation of some deed looking more 
to personal emolument than the good of his country. Nor did 
he long look in vain. A mysterious night movement of the 
flotilla of which Arnold then had command, induced Col. 
Brown to make known his suspicions to his superior officer, 
Col. Easton, who, demanding, but receiving no adequate ex- 
planation, ordered a battery to be trained upon the ileet, and 
checked the design. It was the opinion of both Easton and 
Brown that Arnold was manoeuvering to run olf with the flo- 
tilla and make his account by selling out to Sir Guy Carleton, 
the governor of Canada and commander of the British forces 
in that province. 

This incident did not tend to allay the antagonism between 
Col. Brown and Arnold, and the latter set himself to annihilate 
all Brown's prospects of promotion in the army and prominence 
before the country, and, for the time, he unfortunately had 
abundant means to do so. He had insinuated himself into the 
good graces of Gens. Schuyler and Montgomery, who knew no 
more of his real character than the desperate resolution and 
rashness of some of his enterprises on which fortune had smiled. 
Arnold managed his inliuence with these officers adroitly; suc- 
ceeded in keeping himself prominent in their regard, and put- 
ting his rival into almost complete eclipse. After Gates had 
superseded Schuyler, Arnold got the same hold of him and re- 
tained it, more, seemingly, through fear of the mischief he 
might work if thwarted, than respect for his executive abilities, 
and he used it, not only to the personal prejudice of Brown, 
but in prevention of the honorable mention of him as the pro- 
jector and executor of several important man 0311 vers which 
greatly contributed toward the ultimate triumph over Burgoyne. 
Brown knew the cause of the injustice done him, and his patri- 
otic soul fretted with indignation thereat; but waited for time 

318 Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society. 

to right him until his last reserve of patience was exhausted by 
Arnold's allegation against him as a peculator of the plunder of 
St. Johns. Then he demanded opportunity to face his enemy 
before a court martial. This, Arnold — knowing that an inves- 
tigation would change his own status from that of a complain- 
ant to a defendant — managed to have staved off from time to 
time, until Brown made his final appeal to Congress to do jus- 
tice between himself and his accuser. Even this was delayed, 
and sick at heart of his treatment — though never of his princi- 
ples — he resigned from the Northern army, as did the hero of 
Bennington under slighter provocation, and, like him, bating 
nothing of his patriotic ardor, returned to his home to serve the 
public cause under conditions more compatible with his self- 
respect and conscious integrity. As in the case of Gen. Stark, 
due recognition of his merit came at last; but the record of the 
stirring events on the Northern border had been written as his- 
tory, and it remains for posterity to unseal the silence which 
detraction has imposed upon them, so far as the services of Col. 
Brown are connected therewith. With the rank he deserved, 
Col. Brown fell in battle with the enemies of his country almost 
synchronously with the treason and flight to them of his per- 
sistent rival and persecutor. 

In this connection I cannot withhold a repetition of an anec- 
dote originally related by Gen. Morgan Lewis, illustrative of 
the prophetic insight of Col. Brown, and the personal courage 
of himself and Arnold respectively. I abridge the relation as 
much as possible : 

During the winter of 1776-7, many of the officers of the 
army, among them the two in question, were quartered in 
Albany. Brown, smarting under the defamatory treatment of 
Arnold, published a retaliatory handbill whose final clause was 
this : " Money is this man's God, and to get enough of it he 
would sell his country." Arnold, on reading it, raved and 
stormed, swearing that he would kick its author on sight, when- 
ever and wherever he should meet him. The threat was re- 
ported to Col. Brown, who got himself invited to dinner at the 
mess where Arnold belonged. On entering the dining hall he 
perceived Arnold standing at its farther end, facing the door of 



Col. John Brown. 3 1 9 

entrance, and he deliberately marched the length of it, looking 
him in the eye. Halting directly before him, he said, "I un- 
derstand that you have said that you would kick me ; I now 
present myself to give you an opportunity to put that threat 
into execution." Arnold opened not his lips. After a pause 
Brown resumed, "Sir, I pronounce you a dirty scoundrel." 
Even this elicited no reply. Then turning and gracefully apol- 
ogizing to the officers around, who were vainly expectant of a 
bloody encounter, he left the room. For once Arnold recog- 
nized "discretion as the better part of valor," and the conscious- 
ness of the truth of Brown's assertion, obliged him to put both 
his pride and the insult into his pocket. Gruilt cowered before 
integrity, and made shameless but inevitable surrender. 

I have, perhaps, unduly protracted this article; but interest 
in a fellow countryman, able, patriotic, devoted and deserving, 
whose public services have, for long years, been clouded by envy 
and detraction, must apologize for the extension. Such has 
been the fate of many a character which,, were history always 
just, would shine upon the pages whence they have been crowded 
by men and deeds less deserving, but selfishly or fortuitously 
brought into prominence for the admiration of the ages. The 
enlarged scope of later investigation, and the impartial pens of 
modern del vers into the archives of the past, are gradually cor- 
recting the errors that have distorted historical accuracy, and 
bringing to the light of truth and honor those to whom honor 
is due. Among these subjects of tardy justice now stands, and 
will continue to stand, the name of our Berkshire hero, Col. 
John Brown. 

Stockbridge, July 16, 1878. 

/-" ' ( 

340 1